A talent for creating well-crafted characters and skill for writing dreamy settings ... a pitch-perfect dramedy with plenty to love, laugh about and cringe at ... With so many generations of family on the scene, the book is rife with uncomfortable --- and swoony --- interactions, but it’s a real case of the whole being even greater than the sum of its parts ... Each character is wonderfully fleshed out and realized, but it is their overall assembly (and Friedman’s jaw-dropping ability to handle them all) that propels the narrative, pulls at your heartstrings.
This novel tells an engaging story of family, friends, business, progress, change, tradition, secrets, and so much more ... Friedland has a flair for taking the reader back and forth between multiple characters so we can see and know the “why” behind each person’s thoughts and decisions. Her ability to so thoroughly define each character and make each so distinct is what makes it possible for the reader to keep up with such a large cast of characters and I will admit that I referred back to the included family tree numerous times as I was starting the first few chapters. Once you get to know these characters though, you really know them.
Friedland writes with humor and pathos about a dilemma that was surely faced by real-life Jewish hotel owners ... Each chapter is written from another family member’s point of view, adding depth and perspective to the central decision of the novel. Friedland skillfully intersperses lighthearted incidents — such as a salon appointment that goes terribly wrong — with serious family problems. In addition, the character growth over the course of the novel is uplifting and powerful.