My Review of “Not Our Kind” by Kitty Zeldis Harper Collins Publishers September 4, 2018
Kitty Zeldis, Author of “Not Our Kind” had me captivated and mesmerized by her vivid and thought-provoking images and descriptions of the characters and landscape. The Genres for this Novel are Fiction, Women’s Fiction and Historical Fiction. The time period of this novel is set two years after World War Two, in both New York City and Conneticut.
The author describes her colorful cast of characters as complex and complicated possibly due to the circumstances in this story. Eleanor Moskowitz,a young Jewish teacher is headed in a taxi in New York City for a job interview. Eleanor is a Vassar graduate, and has left her other teaching job for personal reasons. It is raining, and traffic is exceptionally slow. Suddenly another cab, hits the taxi that Eleanor is in. Eleanor’s lip is bleeding, and now it looks like Eleanor has missed her interview. It seems like fate when a kind stranger steps in. Little does Eleanor realize how this encounter will change her life forever. Patricia Bellamy invites Eleanor to her home which is close by.
Patricia Bellamy is a wealthy, attractive and stylish woman. She lives in a dignified, elegant, older deluxe apartment house on Park Avenue. Patricia is a WASP, and hasn’t had Jewish people come to her apartment. Margaux Bellamy, her young daughter has recently recovered from Polio, and is left with a disfigured leg and limp. Margaux’s last tutor has resigned, and now a new one is needed. Margaux likes Eleanor immediately and requests that her mother hire her as a tutor.
Eleanor feels uncomfortable in Patricia’s home. Eleanor’s mother is a gifted hat-maker, and they live in smaller crowded dwellings. Eleanor somehow feels an attachment to Margaux and takes the job. Eleanor now finds that she is using the last name Moss instead of Moskowitz, when she enters the building. Another problem is that Patricia’s husband is anti-semitic.
Kitty Zeldis has written a novel that makes one think. I appreciate that the author writes about significant problems of the historical period, the aftermath of the war, the epidemic of Polio , differences in class, and religion, and discrimination. Is it possible for people from different backgrounds to be friends? The author also discusses family, traditions, friendship, love and hope. I loved everything about this book and highly recommend this to readers who enjoy the historical time period after World War Two, and the set of challenges it presents. I received an Advanced Reading Edition from the Publisher for my honest review.