Amazon reviews for Jewish Luck
4.0 out of 5 stars. Not For Jews Only,
By D. E. Sievers "Author" on April 6, 2014
Jewish Luck, a story of the efforts and trials of two Russian women determined to make the kind of life they know in their hearts they deserve, might as easily have been titled Jewish Pluck. I wasn't sure I'd like this book, since I've always been more drawn to reading fiction, but believe me when I say there are many parts of this book that read like fiction. Suspense, intrigue, danger--it's all there, to say nothing of the deep wells of pride and self-respect that keep the two protagonists chasing their dreams in spite of repeated setbacks and nothing less than the enormous, unfeeling and bureaucratic engine that was Soviet Russia standing in the way of those dreams. I'm neither Jewish nor female nor much of an expert in Russian history, but I enjoyed this book very much. The character Vera can stand alongside some of Chekhov's or Tolstoy's most memorable fictitious characters, except that Vera is very real and still alive today. I can honestly say this book deepened my appreciation for the challenges and obstacles some people must overcome to achieve the kind of life that so many Americans often take for granted, and did so while also being a damn enjoyable read!
5.0 out of 5 stars. Reads like a novel
By Michael Goldstein on February 28, 2014
I read this book while on vacation on the beach in Mexico and couldn't put it down. The book was extremely well written and read like a novel. I've never read a true story that read as much like a novel. If you had relatives who immigrated from the old Soviet Union this is a must read. Congratulations to the authors on the success of this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars. Great Read!
By KEVIN HARRINGTON on February 18, 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed the book Jewish Luck. It is a great story about friendship,family and perseverance. I enjoyed learning about Russian culture particularly during the time of the Cold War.
5.0 out of 5 stars. Fascinating story
By Wendy Baldinger on February 8, 2014
A great way to learn the personal story of recent Russian history. So interesting to see how the lives of these women intersected and diverged. Well told and well written. I highly recommend this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars. A true story of two unbelievably strong, courageous women! Inspirational!
By Shirley Pearl (SAINT PAUL, MN, US) on December 29, 2013
Jewish Luck is a true story about two extraordinary Russian women who in 1974 became friends almost instantly when standing in line to register for classes at the Institute of Finance and Economics, one of the few educational institutions that admitted Jews. Each was on a journey to find a way she could be in control of her own life -- not the communist government. Although each traveled different paths, full of peril, their paths triumphantly crossed again nearly six thousand miles away from their birth land when in their early fifties. At last, each had succeeded in finding personal freedom not possible in the land of their birth. Their story is told by two sisters in Minneapolis whose lives became intertwined with them. Together they write an exciting account of the vicissitudes these two women encounter over the decades in a country that seems determined to control the minds and bodies of its citizens. Historians of Russia will find the book rich in facts as well as how its political corruption has affected the every day lives of its people. The bibliography is a historian's delight. It is a book hard for anyone to put down. What a dramatic movie it would make!
5.0 out of 5 stars. Jewish Luck: A true Story of Friendship, Deception and Risky Business
By Gail Stalpes on December 27, 2013
Beautifully written, absorbing, includes knowledge/history of Russia. Especially appreciated the inclusion of Russian words & phrases;
Excellent character development, related to these women.
5.0 out of 5 stars. This could have been my story
By dorothy on December 26, 2013
If not for the good Jewish Luck of my grandparents to come to America i too could have grown up under the oppressive regime of Communist Russia. I was inspired by the strength of the 2 woman and especially appreciated how One of the families took snipits of long ago memories to hold on to Judiasm in order to pass the heritage to the children.
5.0 out of 5 stars. unique and interesting
By Charles Levine on December 26, 2013
Very unusual style... an autobiograpical, historical biography. Interesting story. The story of two Russian women told thru the eyes of an American friend, interspersed with historical context.
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, moving and enlightening!
By Lisa Katz (Israel) on December 22, 2013
I really enjoyed Jewish Luck. The story itself is fascinating and unique. But more importantly, I felt inspired, moved and enlightened by the story. The story was inspiring because it describes how two Jewish women overcome great obstacles to rise from very modest beginnings to dreamlike heights. In addition, I was greatly moved by the various friendships in the book, as what is more moving than seeing individuals connecting to form caring, loving relationships. I gained a whole new understanding of life in Russia. Just like Downton Abbey gives one a feeling of what it would have been like to live in English around the time of WWI, this book gave me a feeling for what it would have been like to live in Russia at the end of the 20th century. But the most enlightening part of the book for me was learning that wonderful things (and great stories) can develop if we just take the time to say “hi” to the stranger waiting at the corner.
4.0 out of 5 stars. Amazing women - real life role models
By janet on December 21, 2013
A true story about strong women who take risks and rely on family and friends to design and create lives that let them make choices and have the freedom that we in the United States take for granted. Admirable people - including the authors - for sharing this story.
5.0 out of 5 stars. Superb writing quality and fascinating insight into the Soviet and post-Soviet business environments
By Emporio on December 20, 2013
I generally avoid books which are co-authored. I find that the prose in these books can have a diluted quality where each author’s unique voice is toned down in order to produce a consistent and unified writing style. However, in Jewish Luck, the authors leverage their distinct writing styles to give voice to distinct characters and expertly weave together a multilayered narrative. It’s also evident that the narrative benefits from the contributions of each author with regards to their personal perspective and areas of expertise.
The narrative is not limited to the real life women protagonists or Jewish subject matter. It also provides an insightful and engaging account of Soviet and post-Soviet history and how Communism impacted the lives of Russian citizens. Aside from being a riveting read, one of the book’s value propositions is that it’s a never before told non-fiction account of the realities and challenges of capitalistic entrepreneurship in Russia. These business realities and business strategies include dealing with and securing protection against gang factions and the mafia, ambiguous property rights, an unstable currency, political and social instability, and the benefit of establishing international business connections.
5.0 out of 5 stars. A great book - highly recommend!
By Bonnie Goldish on December 15, 2013
I loved the combination of personal stories integrated with history that the authors bring together so beautifully.
A quick, fascinating read!
5.0 out of 5 stars. Fascinating and provoking--a GREAT read!
By Elisa Stancil on December 11, 2013
This is the first time I have reviewed a book before I have even finished it! I am learning so very much about mid-century childhood in Russia and from this perspective, forward, learning about the immense cultural and social changes within these families that exemplify the experience of so many. I salute the sister authors, Leslie and Meryll, and their commitment to tell this complex story. Inspiring, informative, fascinating and provoking! A great read!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars. Amazingly well written and engaging
By Taras Tarlov on December 8, 2013
Amazingly well written. Really tells a true story of Soviet Union and Russia. Historical references help a lot in understanding what characters were really going through. Oh and the cover is awesome too. Look in the middle on the left.
5.0 out of 5 stars. True story well told
By Renee K. Levine on December 7, 2013
Loved the book - the writing, the photos. Also enjoyed the historical perspectives of the times. The family comparisons worked well to illustrate how so many families could have struggled had not ancestors had the courage to uproot their families to provide them with more opportunities in a free country with a benign government. Difficult to put the book down.
4.0 out of 5 stars. its more than luck its about will
By randy kustanowitz on December 1, 2013
I couldn't stop turning the page. A fascinating read about a pivotal time in the former Soviet unions and Russia's history.
The changing effects of society on the individual; how society's written and unwritten laws springs them to act as they construct their own set of morals and ethics to survive and thrive in their own lives, as they are fearless in opening and closing doors in love, marriage, business, their identity and religion.