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"The Matzah Ball had me laughing out loud...an all-around terrific read."—Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Oy! to the world
Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is a nice Jewish girl with a shameful secret: she loves Christmas. For a decade she’s hidden her career as a Christmas romance novelist from her family. Her talent has made her a bestseller even as her chronic illness has always kept the kind of love she writes about out of reach.
But when her diversity-conscious publisher insists she write a Hanukkah romance, her well of inspiration suddenly runs dry. Hanukkah’s not magical. It’s not merry. It’s not Christmas. Desperate not to lose her contract, Rachel’s determined to find her muse at the Matzah Ball, a Jewish music celebration on the last night of Hanukkah, even if it means working with her summer camp archenemy—Jacob Greenberg.
Though Rachel and Jacob haven’t seen each other since they were kids, their grudge still glows brighter than a menorah. But as they spend more time together, Rachel finds herself drawn to Hanukkah—and Jacob—in a way she never expected. Maybe this holiday of lights will be the spark she needed to set her heart ablaze.
"A luminous celebration of all types of love, threaded with the message that everyone is worthy of it.”—Rachel Lynn Solomon, author of The Ex Talk
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
With warmth, laugh-out-loud humor, and an empathetic, just-right depiction of chronic illness, The Matzah Ball may be our favorite holiday romance ever. Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt’s chronic fatigue syndrome means a nine-to-five job is impossible, but luckily she’s found a successful career writing Christmas romances. When her publisher demands a Hanukkah romance for her next book, Rachel is forced to admit that despite being Jewish, she’s never found the holiday very magical. Maybe inspiration will strike if she attends the ultraexclusive Matzah Ball…but that would mean volunteering alongside her childhood crush turned nemesis, Jacob Greenberg. We love how Jean Meltzer weaves together the theme of celebrating your culture and traditions with the story of Rachel and Jacob rediscovering their teenage love for one another.
Meltzer debuts with a charming holiday romance. Rabbi's daughter Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt has a secret: she loves Christmas. So much so that she's built a career writing Christmas romance novels and made-for-TV movies under a pen name. Her success allows her to work from home, vital for a person living with chronic fatigue syndrome. But Rachel's thrown when her editors decide her next series should be Hanukkah-focused, a holiday she considers minor and not very magical. Seeking inspiration, she agrees to volunteer at a high-end Hanukkah soiree being thrown by her old sleepaway camp boyfriend, Jacob Greenberg. Jacob's just as attracted to Rachel as he was back in camp days, but wary of her potentially breaking his heart again. Refreshingly, Rachel's illness is not one of the barriers to their happy ending; instead, the pair weather the typical misunderstandings of a contemporary rom-com. Rachel is a fully formed character whose illness has shaped her choices, but doesn't define all of who she is. Meanwhile, Jacob's bubbe, who serves rugalach for every occasion, and Rachel's best friend, Mickey, are scene-stealers and deserve happily ever afters of their own. This heartfelt rom-com should be unwrapped by people of all faiths this holiday season.)
Funny and Insightful
If we Jews can appreciate Christmas and its trees and lights, non-Jews can and will find the joy of Hanukkah through this romance. Interesting thought (because it’s sure to end up on Hallmark Channel) - who would you cast?
The Matzah Ball
The Matzah Ball is a wonderful escape read that is remarkably tender and romantic yet is also intelligent, fun, sexy — in short, uniquely enthralling.
Throughly enjoyed the book. It was like a Hallmark Jewish Christmas movie in a book. I was looking for a light mental escape and it certainly fit that bill.