Verdict: Fans who love the shock value-style humor of someone like Jenny Lawson or Jill Connor Brown will be disappointed, but those readers who simply want to hear someone tell a great story about situations we have all found ourselves in—even if we don’t want to admit it—will thoroughly enjoy this book.
Goldstein Lebovitz writes about her childhood, her adulthood, her family, and the bizarre situations that she finds herself in (like Saran Wrapping her boys in their bedrooms until she finds out how to delouse them after they are sent home from school infested), all of it peppered with light humor.
At first, the author’s voice in this humor memoir was mildly odd, but as I kept reading I finally realized that what made her sound so strange is the very skill that makes her so good. She talks to you about her life as though you are an old friend, as though you know who these people are. And after the first few essays, you begin to feel like you do know who they are because you have people like this in your own life.
Possibly the greatest aspect of her work is the expected-yet-unexpected meme of the Jewish mom. When I originally read the back cover blurb I was left with a smug sense of judgment over her work. I was certain it was going to be just another comedic look at life in a Jewish household, rife with the typical jokes about nagging mothers-in-law and food, sprinkled here and there with a little Yiddish to make it credible. Instead, the author describes an unknown entity: the Jewish family from the South.
I nearly cried while laughing at her description of missing high school football games and friends’ parties because her family had to celebrate the Sabbath at her grandparents’ house. She described being allowed to have friends over on Friday nights as long as those friends were willing to participate in the prayers and the dinner:
“Friday night is the Jewish Sabbath. And God forbid I got out on the Sabbath—literally…Of course, when word got out to the general teenage population that spending Friday night at the Goldstein house required a minimum of praying and dinner with the entire extended family, we became social outcasts. Even the Jewish kids started avoiding our calls.”
Fans who love the shock value-style humor of someone like Jenny Lawson or Jill Connor Brown will be disappointed, but those readers who simply want to hear someone tell a great story about situations we have all found ourselves in—even if we don’t want to admit it—will thoroughly enjoy this book.
Reviewed by Mercy Pilkington for IndieReader
Purchase Am I There Yet?: A Journey through Marriage, Motherhood, and Miles of Minutiae from Amazon