Managing Bubbie by Russel Lazega is a captivating, spellbinding story that follows a family’s journey as it struggles to manage one of theirs — the elderly Lea Bubbie. The story is so wonderfully told and the setting comes out clearly through the narrative. The reader is transported to what life was like in Miami in the 1980s. This is a story that also takes the reader back to the Holocaust days to learn what it meant to survive the horrors of that heartbreaking historical evil. The author combines wit with humor to give readers a satisfying reading and listening experience. Readers will be immediately drawn to the characters and Bubbie is one heck of a character. As one listens to the story and gets to know her stubbornness, one also gets a glimpse of an intelligence and a wisdom accumulated through the gritty path of grueling experience.
The narrative voice is beautiful and the audio is so masterfully done that the characters’ roles come across distinctly. The dialogues are impeccable and the reader will enjoy the witticism, the humor, and all the fun that comes alongside the gripping story. Just the opening lines had me hooked and laughing, and the Yiddish accent is unmistakably woven into the dialogues, reflecting the history and culture of the characters. “It was the last thing she said to me before I left for college. ‘I vant you should write these tings down,’ she told me. ‘Mine stories — mine life — I vant you should make a book from these tings, a book to tell vhat I did to bring mine children here to this country.’” Reading the conversations and the story is enjoyable, but listening to it is far more fun. Russel Lazega’s memoir is an exciting story that is as enjoyable as a memoir of this nature can be. Managing Bubbie will have you laughing and crying throughout the rollicking ride.