Excited to be chosen for the Jewish Book Council's book club this week!
"In her debut novel, What to Do About the Solomons, Bethany Ball leaves no stone unturned as she gradually divulges the inner psyches, darkest secrets, and most problematic idiosyncrasies of her kibbutznik characters. Lust, drugs, money, and other excesses are no strangers to the Solomon family. Lovers of classic Jewish literature and gossip rags unite: this one’s got something for everyone."
As a lover of both celebrity gossip websites AND Anna Karenina, I fully love the line about gossip rags and I admit that is exactly what I was going for.
There is a kind of voice in fiction and non fiction that I call gossipy but i'm sure there's a better more literary term for it. When I think of that voice I think of some of my favorite writers like Mary Gaitskill (to me, no less than a queen), Bret Easton Ellis, Jay McInernay, the diaries of Anais Nin, Tama Janowitz. They provided details on characters that were often shocking, illuminating, funny, and human. A lot of Eighties writers and a lot of them published by Vintage Contemporaries which back then had the coolest book designs. I had a wise friend in college who would tell me the most salacious stories. They were wonderful. They might have been embellished, which made them even better. In the Solomons book the aside about someone having sex with their veterinarian on the examining table came from an anecdote they once told me. Reading those writers that I loved was like sitting next to that wise often hilarious and self deprecating friend giving dispatches from the world.
Read the rest of the Jewish Book Council review here.