BOOK REVIEW: The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer


Title: The Matzah Ball
Author: Jean Meltzer
Publication: September 28, 2021
Publisher: MIRA
Genre: Fiction, Holiday
Pages: 416

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SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

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 copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

I have seen this book on both BookTok and Bookstagram.  I was interested in reading it so it came across my email as a review request I was so excited.  The cover drew me in as well, but the real thing that drew me in was the description of the book.  I was excited to read it.

Rachel is the daughter of a well-known Rabbi and a top-notch fertility specialist.  She has been raised a Jew her entire life.  She is, however, harboring a secret.  She is in LOVE with Christmas.  Her entire office is decked out to the nines. She is also a very successful and popular Christmas romance author, no one knows it is her because they would disapprove. She also suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  Before Hanukkah, her mother tells her that her childhood first love and her enemy will be at their house.  He is also coming into town to throw The Matzah Ball Max. Will things implode between Rachel and Jacob or will they be able to figure things out between them?  Before I go any farther, the first about 23% of this book absolutely bored me.  I almost gave up on it, but once it hit that point I couldn’t put it down at all.  I stayed up way too late reading it because I just needed to know what happened next. 

I absolutely loved the character of Rachel.   She never let her chronic disease rule her life.  She knew how to pace herself.  She did I will admit pity herself and gave herself more than one pity party but who doesn’t throw themself a pity party.   Jacob tries to reconnect with Rachel by pranking her because that is what they did to each other when they were at Jewish summer camp.   This book was a sweet romance that was very clean, there was no spicy scenes at all, it was refreshing to read.  I don’t think off the top of my head I have read a romance that was that Jewish-themed.  There was a smattering of Jewish words that I found myself looking up the meaning to because I didn’t know what they meant.  I really want to read more books by this author.  I see that she has another book coming out in 2022 and I have already added it to my Amazon wish-list I can’t wait to read it!!

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