Monday, January 26, 2009

Ilana Stanger-Ross's SIMA'S UNDERGARMENTS FOR WOMEN in The New York Post

Sima's Undergarments for Women, by Ilana Stanger-Ross, is reviewed by Sarah Weinman in The New York Post: "Hidden beneath the red and orange brick two−story homes of Boro Park, Brooklyn, is Sima Goldner's basement lingerie shop, where for 35 years she has practiced the mystic art of finding and fitting just the right brassiere for all types of women. In a glance she could see their size, the back and the cup combined. 36−D, she'd say. In vain the women protested, 'but I'm a 34. I've always been.' (But) when on her advice they slipped back on their shirts to evaluate the shape a new bra gave, they inevitably agreed." So, too, will readers slip into Brooklyn native Ilana Stanger−Ross's debut novel, finding something both comforting and uplifting. Sima's life looks enviably stable, with her successful business, her tight−knit Orthodox community and her decades−long marriage to Lev. But Sima herself is very much an outsider: "no one gathered at her table for Shabbat dinner, no one caught her up on the gossip outside synagogue on Saturday." And her marriage has lasted years, but it comes with a sense of emptiness and crippling distance as Lev repeatedly chimes, "I didn't notice you were gone." Then a young, vivacious Israeli named Timna blows into her shop, sticks around as a salesgirl and proves to be the catalyst that will reveal the gaping wounds bubbling underneath Sima's placid exterior."

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