(Originally published in the UK as “Mr. Rosenblum’s List”) Jack Rosenblum is five foot three and a half inches of sheer tenacity. Through study and application he intends to become a Very English Gentleman. Jack is compiling a list, a comprehensive guide to the manners, customs and habits of this country. He knows that marmalade must be bought from Fortnum & Mason, he’s memorized the entire British monarchy back to 913 A.D and the highlight of his day is the BBC weather forecast. And he never speaks German, apart from the occasional curse. From the moment he disembarked at Harwich in 1937 he understood that assimilation was the key. But the war’s been over for eight years and despite his best efforts, his bid to blend in remains fraught with unexpected hurdles. Including his wife. Sadie finds his obsession baffling. She doesn’t want to forget who they are or where they come from. She’d rather bake cakes to remember the people they left behind than worry about how to play bridge. But Jack is convinced they can find a place to call home. In a final attempt to complete his list, he leads a reluctant Sadie into the English countryside. Here, in a land of woolly pigs, bluebells and jitterbug cider, the embark on an impossible task…
My take: 2 looks
I need to come to terms with the fact that I am not going to finish this book. It has languished on my “Reading Now” shelf while I have read a number of other books; and, I am not going to pick it back up. I just didn’t miss it, and I never wondered how it ended. It’s time for me to write an abbreviated review of what I did read, and move on.
Don’t get me wrong, it was a cute book…what I read of it. I liked his wife, Sadie, the most. I just never really became invested in the story. Jack was a bit of a caricature to me. He pursued a single endeavor to the exclusion of all else, until another endeavor caught his fancy. He was single-minded, selfish, and naïve enough to let those things which should have been most dear to him slip away. I just became to frustrated with his character to really care what happened.
I am sorry to say that I cannot recommend this one.