Book review: The Second Mango, by Shira Glassman

Posted by Melissa Eisenmeier on

Ever since reading The Second Mango by Shira Glassman in 2016, it's been one of my favorite books. It's Jewish lesbian fantasy. The main character, Shulamit, never expected to inherit the throne of Perach at the age of twenty. She's 20, fatherless, and coping with being the only lesbian she knows after her girlfriend, Aviva, runs off. To top that off, she's also dealing with severe intestinal problems that everyone thinks she's faking. After meeting an athletic, assertive warrior named Rivka, things start looking up for Shulamit, though.

My favorite part was the fact that the author sprinkled different Yiddish and Hebrew words throughout the book. I've started using some of them in my life- schreckliches chazzer is my favorite; it translates to dirty pig, and I've used it to describe some people in my life. I also used schmendrick a couple of times; the author says it's an undefinable Yiddish insult, but when I read it in the context of the book, the gist of it was that someone is an idiot. I also used the term mensch (translated as a good man) for my friend Matt and my cat, Stan Lee. I also liked that it's new adult fiction. When I was Shulamit's age, it was hard to find stuff for people my age. YA is aimed at people still in high school, so I didn't want to read that anymore. However, I found regular adult fiction hard to relate to, as it was usually geared towards people older than me, in their late twenties and older, who already had careers, spouses, and often kids.

I'm giving this 4 paws up. I liked the Yiddish phrases, and I loved Shulamit being 20.

New, $12. Buy it here.


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