In The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer, Rachel is a best-seller writer of more than 20 Christmas-themed romance books and a lover of all things Christmas…not a big deal, except for the fact that she is Jewish, her father is a highly influential Rabbi. She has an entire room in her apartment dedicated to Christmas decor that no one knows any of this except her best friend.
What could go wrong?
But now, her publisher wants her to break from her Christmas writing and develop a Hanukkah-inspired romance novel. Rachel struggles to find the inspiration until she learns the elusive The Matzah Ball is being held in NYC and if she can somehow get a ticket to go she might find the magic she is looking for.
Her childhood camp love/nemesis, Jacob Greenberg, holds the golden ticket to attend the ball and in turn, her future. Things did not end well the last time they saw each other and their reunion could be the end of her career.
I loved this book. I found the premise fun and light, yet not fluffy. It touches upon powerful Jewish traditions including Hanukkah that I honestly did not know a lot about. The author described in such detail that I felt as if I was a part of these traditions and I was just one of the family.
Rachel also has a chronic health condition – myalgic encephalomyelitis – more known as chronic fatigue syndrome and I thought it was delicately handled as part of her story and her journey but it did not completely define who she was.
This story is pure joy. I laughed and felt the holiday (and romantic) love throughout. While the ending was not a “surprise” it was just what I wanted and I felt it wrapped up the story beautifully. Add to your holiday must-read list!
Thank you, HarperCollins and NetGalley for this ARC. All thoughts and opinions are my own.