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The Big Nap: A Mommy-Track Mystery

4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Thomas T Beeler; Lrg edition (May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574905694
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574905694
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Juliet Applebaum, L.A. public defender turned stay-at-home mom, returns for a second amusing but poignant adventure mixing child-rearing and sleuthing (after 2000's somewhat weaker Nursery Crimes, which was marred by a clich‚d ending). Four-month-old Isaac isn't sleeping much, and neither is his mother, while dad is busy getting the pilot for a new TV series ready. A chance encounter with a Hasidic storekeeper, Nettie Tannenbaum, brings Juliet temporary relief, when Nettie recommends her niece, Fraydle Finkelstein, as a babysitter. Fraydle works wonders with Isaac and three-year-old Ruby, but next day goes missing. Could Fraydle's disappearance have something to do with her family belonging to a strict religious group, the Satmar Hasidim, and her parents having arranged a marriage for her? Juliet saw Fraydle chatting with a young Israeli named Yossi, but the girl vehemently denied that he was her boyfriend. When the Finkelstein family refuses to involve the police, Juliet travels to Brooklyn, where she wangles a meeting with the family of Fraydle's intended husband. The surprising truth of what happened to Fraydle, however, lies back in Los Angeles. Drawing sharp contrasts between the world of conservative Judaism and Juliet's more liberal Hollywood life, Waldman has given her heroine a compelling story befitting her intelligent, witty voice.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Juliet Appelbaum, Waldman's Harvard-trained lawyer turned stay-at-home mother--Nursery Crimes (2000)--is wondering if she will ever sleep again. Her second child, four-month-old Isaac, loathes naps, and her three-year-old daughter, Ruby, thinks she will never go to the park again. Her screenwriter husband seems to spend more time at work with an attractive producer than he does at home. The desperate Juliet hires Freydle Finkelstein, a rabbi's daughter and member of the Hasidic community in the Applebaums' Los Angeles neighborhood, to babysit. Then Fredyle disappears suddenly, and Juliet wonders why. Is she fleeing an arranged marriage? What about the mysterious non-Hasidic man who was talking to her before she vanished? When Freydle's parents refuse to call the police, Juliet feels that she must try to find the missing woman herself. Waldman treats the Los Angeles scene with humor, offers a revealing glimpse of Hasidic life, and provides a surprise ending. This is an entertaining mystery with a satirical tone. Barbara Bibel
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Stay at home mom Juliet Applebaum is struggling to adjust to the birth of her second child, especially since 4 month old Isaac hardly sleeps at all. She finally hires a young Chasidic girl from her neighborhood to baby sit for a couple hours each day. But after the first day, the girl vanishes. Against all reason, Juliet finds herself drawn to find this young woman, especially after her parents refuse to call the police. But what could make her run away? And can Juliet find her while juggling an infant, pre-school, and her husband's strange work schedule?
I enjoyed the first book in this series but felt it had some flaws. This book was much stronger and the same flaws didn't plague this book. It has a fun sense of humor, and while I felt Juliet complained a bit too much at times, I appreciated her love for her family which still came through. The plot is better developed here, although why this woman would search for this girl is beyond me. Even Juliet acknowledges that it doesn't make much sense.
I'm glad I've been collecting the paperbacks as they've come out. I won't wait so long to revisit Juliet and her family.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ayelet Waldman certainly seems to hold promise as a writer, but first she must learn to check her facts. The entire plot of this book is based on the most ridiculous stereotypes and misconceptions about the Hasidic Jewish community. As someone raised without much Jewish knowledge at all, then adopted an Orthodox Hasidic life as an adult, I feel I can and must caution readers. While the questions and concerns voiced by the book's protaganist, Juliet, are thoughtful and valid, Waldman's answers sadly are not. Among these: That Hasidic women are forced to marry. That a girl's thoughts and feelings are, as a rule, not taked into account. That men "rule" and women merely "comply". That Freydel's father, an important leader, would DARE to treat someone like Juliet with such arrogance, distrust and hostility as described here, and get away with it! The list goes on.... PLEASE do not use this book as an insight into Hasidic Jewish life. A wonderful academic (and readable) book has just been published and is respected very much by "both sides"--Hasidic people and others: Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey Among Hasidic Girls by Stephanie Wellen Levine, Carol Gilligan (Hardcover - November 2003). Your money (and curiosity!) would be better spent here.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the 2nd book in the Mommy Track Mystery series by Ayelet Waldman, Juliet Applebaum is the sleep deprived mother of four-month-old son, Isaac, and three-year-old daughter, Ruby. To help get some much-needed sleep, she hires a baby-sitter to watch her children for a couple of hours. When the baby-sitter, Fraydle, vanishes after only one day on the job, Juliet cannot imagine what has happened to her. Juliet knows her kids are a bit hard to handle, but she cannot envision that it was her kids that ran Fraydle out of town. When Fraydle's Hasidic Jewish family asks for help in finding the missing girl, Juliet simply cannot keep her nosy nature out of the picture. Did Fraydle run away to be with an Israeli boy or was she married off to a strict Hasidic family? Or did something more sinister happen? Juliet tries to solve the case while working on less than 3 hours of sleep per night, and her sense of humor and fearlessness lead her to finding the truth about this case of the missing baby-sitter.
Like others have said, I enjoyed this book in the series better than I had the previous book. Even though Juliet is a bit whiny (and I definitely blame her lack of sleep for this) in the book, she was still humorous and completely human. She is a bit flip about many aspects of motherhood, but shows love and devotion to her family at the same time. What set this book apart from other mysteries is that there was no dead body, and for most of the book, Juliet could not figure out why Fraydle was missing. This added a bit of suspense in that I was never sure if she would be found dead or alive. The ending was a surprise, and I am looking forward to reading other books in this series.
The first book in this series is "Nursery Crimes". Enjoy!
A Cozy Lover
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Big Nap is the second novel in Waldman's Mommy-Track mysteries, and is as cute as the first one.
Juliet Applebaum, former public defender, Harvard Law school graduate, full-time mom and part-time detective finds herself entangled in yet another adventure.
After her new babysitter disappears, Juliet attempts to find some answers, while juggling her two kids, her possibly errant husband, and her insecurities about herself and motherhood. The book races from one scene to the next, making for a fast and amusing read and leaving no time for boredom. The book ends with a rather shocking and poignant finale, with all the loose ends neatly tied together.
Alongside the mystery at the heart of the book, Waldman touches on serious themes including arranged marriages, conservative Judaism, and homosexuality. She still manages to retain the light-heartedness of the book, and she neither gets too preachy nor turns the novel into a morality play. She manages, mostly successfully, to intersperse humour alongside some of the more serious issues dealt with in the novel.
If you're looking for a fast-paced mystery, with lots of comic relief, yet still dealing with important themes (if a little superficially), this is definitely the book for you.
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