by Russel Lazega
Her devoted family only wants the best for their Bubbie. Mostly they want to ensure that their matriarch's twilight years are spent in comfort, safety, and serenity. But how do you manage an aging, immutably stubborn Holocaust survivor who has risen above the squalor of Poland's ghettos; fled across the war-torn German wilderness; and survived the winter-ravaged Pyrenees alone on foot with three children? You probably don't.
Managing Bubbie is the heartrending, hilarious family memoir by Russel Lazega that recounts the frequently hectic, ever-exhausting trials of one Jewish family in Miami Beach as they try to oversee the care of the elderly, unmanageable Lea Lazega. As they scramble for an acceptable assisted living facility and struggle to get her medication in line, they discover the difficulties of controlling a woman who time and again eluded catastrophe by refusing to be told what to do.
A tapestry of an American family in the 1980s, Managing Bubbie also revisits the Holocaust period to mine the love, hope, and humor that emerged from the deepest despair. Anyone who savors a soft heart with a sharp funny bone will laugh, cry, and commiserate with the confounded family who must manage their beloved, impossible Bubbie.
The Rhode Island Hadassah book club meets the first Monday of every month, except for holidays, religious and national. Our first meeting of the year, in January, is devoted to voting on our choices of books for the rest of the calendar year. We usually read books of Jewish interest, but read a book each year that is non-Jewish, and of interest.
Marilyn Kagan is the coordinator. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org