5.0 out of 5 stars Strong Second Mystery
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,...
Published on June 19 2004 by Mark Baker
3.0 out of 5 stars Short mystery for "Mommie interuptis"
This tiny paperback is perfect for someone who finds themselves interrupted constantly, having to drop the book in the middle of a three-page chapter to attend to a boo boo or to mend a teddy. That said, this book could easily be read in one sitting. The character is likable, even when she shines the spotlight so harshly on her insecurities (being fat in LA four months...
Published on March 28 2003 by S.Morgan
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5.0 out of 5 stars Strong Second Mystery,
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.
1.0 out of 5 stars Misinformed,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Adorable and fun,
The other reviews give you a fairly good taste of the plot, so I'll not bore you with that. I came to this book from the other side of things -- while I've never been a mystery reader, I'm a nursing mommy, so of course I was immediately attracted to Juliet, who nurses, mothers and sleuths with wit and style, despite the occasional sleep-deprived faux pas (like opening the door for the Fed Ex man wearing nothing from the waist up but a nursing bra with the flaps open).
This is tasty, fun stuff, a fast-paced quick read with a surprise ending. Just the thing for a mommy who's trying to actually read a book despite the infant and the toddler snapping at her heels.
4.0 out of 5 stars Whodunnit !,
This book caught my eye because it somwhat delves into the Chasidic communities of L.A and New York. The book was a fast moving,light read. I did find myself compelled to read on to find out who killed the young Chasidic babysitter. My only complaint is I agree some other reviewers, most of it was unbelievable ( all the characters were SO willing to help our sleuth out, all detectives should be so lucky) and the ending left me thinking it even more unrealistic. But I guess sometimes unrealistic things can happen in real life too. Too much of it just feel into place too easily, it got rather hokey. But all in all I would have to say its worth my rating.
4.0 out of 5 stars Sleep Deprivation is a Killer!,
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick & Entertaining,
I enjoyed this book more than I did the first one. I found it better written and the main character better developed, but maybe it just took a second book for the author to really define Juliet's personality. In this episode, Juliet's babysitter disappears and she feels responsible for finding out what happened to her. Her search leads her to the Hassidic community of New York and back to L.A. The book is interesting in its cultural descriptions in addition to the mystery itself. The only complaint I have is that the ending seemed rushed, as it did actually in the first book of this series; however, other than that, it was a fun and fairly quick read.
4.0 out of 5 stars Cute!,
By A Customer
I discovered this little book in a specialty bookstore in the Philippines and found it charming. Sometimes you need these quick reads. What's most remarkable though is that the author has exactly the same bio profile as the protagonist, and she's married to MICHAEL CHABON!
A mom and mystery-book lover
2.0 out of 5 stars Oy vey.,
By A Customer
Cliche-ridden and predictable.
The best I can say is that it was a fast read, so it ended quickly. Just not my bag.
3.0 out of 5 stars Short mystery for "Mommie interuptis",
This tiny paperback is perfect for someone who finds themselves interrupted constantly, having to drop the book in the middle of a three-page chapter to attend to a boo boo or to mend a teddy. That said, this book could easily be read in one sitting. The character is likable, even when she shines the spotlight so harshly on her insecurities (being fat in LA four months after giving birth to the baby that won't sleep.) The mystery itself has to be taken with a grain of salt - you can almost here the author at one point debating, "now how can I get her to go down in the basement all by herself," and some plot devices are pretty convoluted. But even if you don't like the book, you won't have to devote a lot of time to it.
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fast and Entertaining Read,
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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The Big Nap: A Mommy-Track Mystery by Ayelet Waldman (Hardcover - May 2004)
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