Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in EnglishDownloadable Audiobook - 2010
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Suggested as a read-alike (Major Pettigrew's Last Stand; The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry) by our spectacular Fiction Librarian team, I settled in to be charmed by the eccentricity of an elderly gentleman in the UK. In common with those others, it does have an elderly man in England with some unusual ideas about how to spend his precious remaining years, and it is peppered with salty eccentrics in the tame English countryside. Check. But in this one, the elderly gentleman is not English, but wishes profoundly to become one. After escaping from the horrors of Nazi Germany, Jack Rosenblum and his wife, Sadie scrape by in London until Jack stumbles upon some surplus carpeting that he turns for a profit and eventually owns and operates his own carpet-making factory. Upon entering the UK, the German Jews were given a list of cultural and social differences to be made aware of and to help the new immigrants to assimilate. Jack expands this list for his own edification and delights in checking off each item. But he hits a roadblock with one - an Englishman belongs to a golf club - because none of the local clubs would accept Jewish members in the 1950s. He is determined to complete his list, and decides to build his own course in the Dorset countryside, where he purchases property and commences the almost Sisyphean task at first with the mockery and vandalism of the locals, and then slowly, with their support and admiration. Culminating in the inaugural match on the day of QE2's coronation, it comes to a bittersweet conclusion that is sweetly satisfying. Definitely recommended for those who liked the other read-alikes, and for any Anglophile delighting in a serio-comic fish-out-of-water story.
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