Not Our Kind by Kitty Zeldis
- Source: William Morrow Publishing – Advanced Reader copy
- Publication date: 9/4/2018
One a rainy day, two years after WW2, Eleanor Moskowitz’s world is turned around after being rear-ended by the taxi cab of Patricia Bellamy. The two come from two completely different worlds. Eleanor, the Jewish daughter of a widowed hatmaker, and Patricia, a wealthy wife living in Park Avenue. The two are brought together due to Patricia’s daughter Margeaux and her special need of a tutor. Once taken into this world, Eleanor’s life quickly turns upside down, even changing her last name to Moss, to better fit in with Mrs. Bellamy’s crowd. A summer retreat at the Bellamy’s countryside reveals that things aren’t always as they appear.
I loved the setting of the book. The immediate post-WW2 era is one that is usually overlooked. It was an incredible look back at this time in history when emotions ran so many generations are still still recovering from the after-effects of the war. It seemed too simple that life just flowed from day to day for Eleanor and Patricia. Sometimes, the viewpoints, particularly of Tom, felt way ahead its time. In the book, it seemed like Patricia’s life was falling apart, while Eleanor remained calm and collected all the way through, always saying or having the viewpoint to make all the difference. I wish Eleanor had some more depth to her character. I’ve never been a fan of the can’t-do-any-wrong type of characters. Everyone has a fault. Although, Eleanor’s saintlike quality was counter-balanced by Wynn Bellamy’s devilish behavior towards any woman he came across. This book is an interesting character study, and it does have my interested piqued in learning more about the post World War 2 era of American social history.