19 September 2012

Review: A Suitable Husband by S.B. Lerner

A Suitable Husband by S.B. Lerner

Pages: 318 (paperback)

Published: 30 May 2012

Genre/s: Historical Fiction

Source: Author

Check it Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK

Synopsis (Goodreads)

In 1930s Poland, the economy is crumbling, the government is in chaos, and Jewish groups argue over how best to deal with the worsening situation. Among them are the Guardsmen, daring and organized young Zionists who are determined to start a new life in Palestine.

A Suitable Husband brings this vibrant period alive with the story of Bianca Lieber, caught between the pressure to marry Alex, the intelligent but staid doctor presented by the matchmaker, and Wolf, the intrepid Zionist leader who can help her get to Palestine. 

My Thoughts

I love historical fiction, particularly stories set around 1940s Europe. A Suitable Husband is set in 1930s Poland, a period that also had my interested piqued, but not a setting of any other books that I can remember reading.

A Suitable Husband is the story of one young woman, Bianca, her family and friends, and the struggle of Jews in Poland during the 1930's. Told from different POVs - primarily Bianca, her mother and her brother, A Suitable Husband delves into the politics and discrimination of that era, as well as age-old family dynamics - the mother that holds the family together, the daughter who dreams of an education and the son who is unsure of which path to take in life.

S.B. Lerner takes the story of a family living through difficult times and magics it into a wonderful mixture of political difficulties, coming-of-age and family sagas.

The characters are vivid and endearing, particularly those of Bianca, torn between doing what is right and what her heart wants, and her mother, Danka, who is determined that her children will have the best life she can possibily provide for them, all the while fighting to keep them safe from the changing attitudes of the Polish people towards the Jews.

And in the midst of a family saga there is also a fascinating look into the Jewish plight in 1930s Poland and their fight to belong, to be independent or simply to build a life for themselves in the face of terrible discrimination.

A Suitable Husband grabbed me from the beginning and didn't let me go until the end. There were parts that felt a little rushed towards the end and the ending took me a little by surprise and although it wasn't what I expected, I did think it suited the book and the characters perfectly.


  1. Thanks, Kat, for your insightful review. You really get to the heart of a novel. Even the author learns something from perceptive readers like you!
    S.B. Lerner

  2. I love historical fiction. I haven't read any in a while, but this one sounds really good. Great review, Kat. :D

    1. I almost exclusively read historical fiction before zombies stole my brain!

  3. I'm not a fan of historical fiction, though I really love this cover. Not sure I could really tell you why exactly, but I like it a lot. Happy you enjoyed this one so much Kat! I love a story that grabs you and doesn't let go until the last page. Great review!

  4. This sounds really good. I've read a lot of HF taken place in Europe in the 40s but hardly any in the 30s. I think that I would enjoy this one. It sounds really different from what I've read in the past.

    1. Me too - 1940s European historical fiction is my favourite, so it was great to read something set in the 1930s, it gave me a whole different perspective.

  5. I haven't heard of this book but I love historical fiction and your review makes the book seem more appealing. I will go add it to my TBR pile right now. Thanks Kat!



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