Published by Overlook Press
Rating: 4.5 stars
This book is officially released today in the U.S. - so go out (or stay in) and buy a copy!!
"Sima's Undergarments for Women" is about Sima Goldner and the bra shop that she runs out of her basement in Brooklyn. Out of the tight-knit community, she has many loyal customers who have trusted her for years to find the very best lingerie for themselves and their daughters in a modest and private environment. One day a young Israeli woman named Timna enters the shop and mesmerizes Sima with her youth and vitality. Timna begins working with Sima as the shop's seamstress and a friendship emerges. Timna is like the daughter Sima was never able to conceive, however Sima takes it too far. Timna's presence forces Sima to confront demons from her past and secrets of her youth are discovered through the use of flashbacks within each chapter.
This is Ilana Stanger-Ross' first novel and she has certainly succeeded in writing a thought-provoking and meaningful debut. I felt very invested in Sima and her feelings and hoped that she would overcome the hardships of her past and let Timna's influence prevail. I loved the sense of camaraderie that is almost tangible throughout the novel between all the women sharing the common bond and connection through Sima's shop.
The book itself is incredibly charming and well-written. Though it deals with some serious topics, I never felt overwhelmed by the severity of the circumstances. I loved the lessons that can be taken away from Sima, particularly with regard to accepting one's past and learning to live life to the fullest.