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Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English: A Novel Hardcover – June 21, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Screenwriter Solomons's debut novel is the pleasant, ripped-from-the-family-archives story of German exile Jack Rosenblum and his unlikely postwar quest to build a golf course in the Dorset countryside. Fresh off the boat and with a Helpful Information and Friendly Guidance for Every Refugee pamphlet in hand, Jack dives passionately into assimilation, starting a booming carpet business, buying his suits at Henry Poole and his hats at Lock of St. James, and avoiding his native tongue at all costs. And while he can afford golf clubs at Harrod's, he can't check off the last item on his list: join a golf club. On impulse, he buys a damp acreage and embarks on the final leg of his assimilation. Meanwhile, his wife, Sadie, obsesses over the past, churning out Baumtortes and other confections. It's undeniably winsome, and while the pace is lackadaisical at best, the details of postwar Britain are nicely observed, and the narrative offers a sweet perspective on some very heavily traveled turf. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“Adams who is also the CEO of Bee Audio, narrates a bittersweet, comic love story filled with World War II nostalgia.”
      ―Publishers Weekly
(The Times (London))

“This is a stunning book, with setting, scenes, and dialogue all artfully managed.”
      ―Jewish Book World

“A beguiling debut novel sure to appeal to the legion of fans of novels like Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows’s The Guernsey Literary and Potat Peel Society.”
      ―Library Journal [starred review]

“Prepare to be seriously charmed. . . . Hilarious and touching.”
      ―The Times (London)
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books; 1 edition (June 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316077585
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316077583
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #848,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Do you remember that magic moment when you first open a book and realized you've met what will be an old friend, one of those books you know you will think about for ages, that you will reread over and over again (if you read like that, which I do), and that stands a chance at actually changing your life? Do you get all tingly inside? Do you walk around with a goofy grin on your face? Do those feelings of new love make you glow?

Yeah, that might be a bit much, but my feelings for Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English are pretty extreme. I have met my favorite book of the year my dears and... well... I'll try to keep the gushing to a minimum.

Jack Rosenblum, his wife Sadie and their daughter Elizabeth have fled Nazi Germany for the safety of England before World War II. Upon their arrival, they are given a pamphlet on how to fit into England's world. Jack is a diminutive man, standing only five feet three and a half inches, but don't let his size fool you. Inside there is the heart of a lion-hearted Englishman and Jack is determined to prove it. So he takes the list, takes it to heart, and begins to live by the list. So when Jack is arrested as a "Class B Enemy Alien" and thrown into prison, Jack's hopes for life in England are almost crushed.

Lucky for Jack, his friend Edgar gets him declared a "Class C Alien," which means he is no threat to the country, and he is released. Jack, feeling more exposed and threatened than ever, begins to add new items to the list. Jack's list grows and grows, until it is well over 100 items of What it Takes to be English. He obtains all these items except one. The last item on his list is membership in an English golf club.
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Format: Hardcover
Jack Rosenblum flees to England from war ravaged Germany taking his wife and daughter with him all the while dreaming of his new life. He knows England is where they can begin again living life without Jewish persecution so off they went. They just need to follow the assimilation into proper English life rule pamphlet they have been given and all will be fine - learn to blend or at least be ignored. His wife, Sadie is less sure but will follow her husband anywhere he thinks best for their family.

Jack holds on to the pamphlet reading it constantly and adding items that he picks up to make sure no one thinks they are not part of English life. He earns an income and then falls into a stroke of good luck and finds himself owning a carpet factory that within ten years is one of the largest in London. Making more than enough money to upgrade their life again Jack starts another phase of following his dreams to be the perfect English gentlemen and in order to accomplish this he needs to play golf.

He buys a set of clubs which leads to a larger purchase of a cottage with enough land to design and build his own golf course where everyone can join regardless of their ethnicity. Again Sadie follows but this dream she is having trouble swallowing and fears the risk is too great for them to handle. Jack says no it will be fine and starts the process of adding items to the list of proper English behavior and construction of his golf course.

The town is less than welcoming but slowly and surely he makes friends and gets some local assistance in the construction. Jack thinks he needs the greatest golfer of his time, Bobby Jones to come and play the inaugural round but letters go unanswered while at the same time jealousy and prejudices start to rear their ugly heads.
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Format: Hardcover
Synopsis: Jack and Sadie Rosenblum and their baby Elizabeth are Jewish German refugees who arrive in England in 1937. Upon their disembarkation they are provided with a pamphlet: 'While you are in England: Helpful Information and Friendly Guidance for every Refugee.' In Jack's quest to become a true English Gentleman he adds items to the list, purchases an old farmhouse far from London and begins to dream of building the best golf course in England. The story follows Jack and Sadie as they each in their own way adjust to leaving one life behind in Germany and try to make a new life in England.

Review: The first thing i loved about this book was the cover. It is a smaller sized, gorgeous hardback with a mat finish and feels like one of those vintage editions of a classic I sometimes pick up at charity shops. The second thing I loved about this book was the dedication: 'On his ninetieth birthday, I promised my grandfather that I would dedicate my first novel to him. So, this is for Mr P.E. Shields O.B.E., 1910-2000.

The next thing I loved about this book didn't come until about page 135 where the character of Curtis begins to be explored - a truly magical elderly man in the village the Rosenblums move to. This is about the time in the story where the characters really get some depth and are revealed with greater description. I read this story for my book club, and if i didn't feel such a pressure to actually read the book we will discuss I probably would've abandoned this early. I'm so glad I didn't and kept persevering with it because it is a lovely story about the courage simple, everyday people need to follow their dreams.
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