About The Book:
With echoes of Rules of Civility and The Boston Girl, a compelling and thought-provoking novel set in postwar New York City, about two women—one Jewish, one a WASP—and the wholly unexpected consequences of their meeting.
One rainy morning in June, two years after the end of World War II, a minor traffic accident brings together Eleanor Moskowitz and Patricia Bellamy. Their encounter seems fated: Eleanor, a teacher and recent Vassar graduate, needs a job. Patricia’s difficult thirteen-year-old daughter Margaux, recovering from polio, needs a private tutor.
Though she feels out of place in the Bellamys’ rarefied and elegant Park Avenue milieu, Eleanor forms an instant bond with Margaux. Soon the idealistic young woman is filling the bright young girl’s mind with Shakespeare and Latin. Though her mother, a hat maker with a little shop on Second Avenue, disapproves, Eleanor takes pride in her work, even if she must use the name “Moss” to enter the Bellamys’ restricted doorman building each morning, and feels that Patricia’s husband, Wynn, may have a problem with her being Jewish.
Invited to keep Margaux company at the Bellamys’ country home in a small town in Connecticut, Eleanor meets Patricia’s unreliable, bohemian brother, Tom, recently returned from Europe. The spark between Eleanor and Tom is instant and intense. Flushed with new romance and increasingly attached to her young pupil, Eleanor begins to feel more comfortable with Patricia and much of the world she inhabits. As the summer wears on, the two women’s friendship grows—until one hot summer evening, a line is crossed, and both Eleanor and Patricia will have to make important decisions—choices that will reverberate through their lives.
Gripping and vividly told, Not Our Kind illuminates the lives of two women on the cusp of change—and asks how much our pasts can and should define our futures.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kitty Zeldis is the pseudonym for a novelist and non-fiction writer of books for adults and children. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, NY.
“[An] enthralling portrait of a woman daring to defy convention in the face of rigid social confines. Lively period details of the bustling city breathe life into Not Our Kind, a story capturing issues of discrimination, the marginalization of women and class disparities. Often veering in unexpected directions, the novel is filled with thought-provoking turns that explore timely subjects in a gripping light. . . . the book’s greatest strength is exploring how the building of relationships can help dissolve ignorance. . . . its themes linger long after the final page is read.”
— USA Today
“NOT OUR KIND transports the reader back to 1947, to the heart of New York’s WASP-y Upper East Side. Zeldis has written a powerful and page-turning account of what happens when Eleanor–smart, beautiful, and Jewish–is employed as a tutor by the troubled Bellamy family, and finds herself out of place in their world. Can the fox and the hound ever truly be friends? This engaging novel succeeds in putting a fresh, feminine spin on that question.”
— Publishers Weekly
“A young Jewish teacher and a WASPy married woman find an unexpected connection in post-World War II New York. . . . Zeldis paints a vivid picture of two separate New Yorks in the 1940s—Eleanor’s shabby clothes and budget meals versus Patricia’s fancy dresses and staff-prepared dinners. Their twin journeys toward independence—Eleanor’s from her mother and Patricia’s from her husband—show that no matter how much money a woman had, she was still constrained by the misogyny and stifling gender roles of the time. A compelling tale of friendship, class, prejudice, and love.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Zeldis uses the rich details of post-war New York—the music, the clothes, the cocktails—to tell the story of two women looking for fulfillment.”
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