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When We Were Bad: a Novelby Charlotte Mendelson
Synopses & Reviews
'The Rubin family, everybody agrees, seems doomed to happiness'
Claudia Rubin is in her heyday. Wife, mother, rabbi and sometime moral voice of the nation, everyone wants to be with her at her older son's glorious February wedding. Until Leo becomes a bolter and the heyday of the Rubin family begins to unravel . . .
'As intelligent as it is funny. A beautifully observed literary comedy as well as a painfully accurate description of one big old family mess' Observer
'Fast-paced and engaging. Brilliant, touching and true' Naomi Alderman, Financial Times
'Absolutely spellbinding, so funny, so moving, so totally believable' Jacqueline Wilson
'Intelligent and witty. The Rubin family may be a singular one but the delights and the difficulties its members have with sex and spirituality, food and domesticity, expectation and achievement, will have a universal appeal' Sunday Telegraph
'Funny and emotionally true, this is a comedy with the warmest of hearts and the most deliciously subversive of agendas' Book of the Month, Marie Claire
When We Were Bad is a warm, poignant and true portrayal of a London family in crisis, in love, in denial and - ultimately - in luck.
Gifted novelist Charlotte Mendelson made her American debut with
this dazzling comedy about the bonds of family and the weight of
expectations. By all outward appearances, the Rubins are the perfect
family: brilliant, successful, enviably close-knit. Then an event of great joy
and celebration — the marriage of the eldest son — turns to chaos when the
groom jilts his bride and runs off with a married woman. It's a shock to
everyone in their small Jewish community, most of all to matriarch Claudia,
a successful rabbi. In the wake of this one defiant act, the floodgates to
a ruinous wave of gossip are opened, and the secrets that the Rubins have
been keeping from one another begin to spill forth. All four adult Rubin
children and their parents ultimately must come to terms with their own
inner desires and identities. A perfect reading group selection, When We
Were Bad gives a warm, poignant, and honest portrayal of a family in crisis,
in love, in denial, and, ultimately, in luck.
What Our Readers Are Saying