The Goldie Standard

  • Review
By – May 6, 2024

This bit­ter­sweet tale is about Goldie the matri­arch and her com­pli­cat­ed rela­tion­ships with her two adult daugh­ters, Esti and Tamar, and her grand­daugh­ter, Max­ie. Goldie enjoyed a long, roman­tic mar­riage with her beloved hus­band, Morty, who treat­ed her like a queen.” When he pass­es away, the daugh­ters decide that Goldie should live in a super­vised environment. 

Max­ie is a young, attrac­tive, and sin­gle PhD can­di­date. She’s the apple of her savta’s eye, and the two have become close. Max­ie is a sci­en­tist work­ing in a lab near the uni­ver­si­ty hos­pi­tal and takes on the respon­si­bil­i­ty of being Goldie’s med­ical advo­cate. Mean­while, Goldie hatch­es a secret plan to find Max­ie the per­fect Jew­ish doc­tor for a hus­band. The plan involves Max­ie meet­ing with her at all her new doc­tor appoint­ments, sched­uled as a result of real and made-up complaints. 

Read­ers gain access to Goldie’s thoughts and rea­son­ing through both Yid­dish and yid­dishized Eng­lish. She com­ments point­ed­ly on the per­son­al­i­ties and appear­ances of the staff and res­i­dents in her build­ing, focus­ing on the notable yen­ta, Ber­nice, in par­tic­u­lar. Goldie reluc­tant­ly becomes involved with Har­ry, a pos­i­tive, fun, talk­a­tive suit­or. She also acquires a unique young dri­ver, emerg­ing artist T‑Jam, who takes her to med­ical appointments. 

Descrip­tions of dai­ly life in the assist­ed liv­ing facil­i­ty in Riverdale are spot on. Goldie’s rever­ies about the past fill in the back­ground about her mar­riage and moth­er­hood. The daugh­ters’ dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties inform how they deal with their aging moth­er. Maxie’s inse­cu­ri­ties from her pre­vi­ous failed rela­tion­ship have fed her desire to devel­op a deep­er con­nec­tion with her grandmother. 

The two sis­ters and the moth­ers and daugh­ters argue about many things, includ­ing liv­ing on the East Coast ver­sus the West Coast and respect­ing tra­di­tion ver­sus embrac­ing moder­ni­ty and flex­i­bil­i­ty. How­ev­er, duty, love, and respect all abound in this book. Goldie is an opin­ion­at­ed and head­strong but lov­able char­ac­ter who, due to her wid­ow­hood and new liv­ing sit­u­a­tion, must con­front her past mis­takes and fixed ideas in order to move on and deal with the real­i­ties of this next chal­leng­ing stage of life. 

Miri­am Brad­man Abra­hams, mom, grand­mom, avid read­er, some­time writer, born in Havana, raised in Brook­lyn, resid­ing in Long Beach on Long Island. Long­time for­mer One Region One Book chair and JBC liai­son for Nas­sau Hadas­sah, cur­rent­ly pre­sent­ing Inci­dent at San Miguel with author AJ Sidran­sky who wrote the his­tor­i­cal fic­tion based on her Cuban Jew­ish refugee family’s expe­ri­ences dur­ing the rev­o­lu­tion. Flu­ent in Span­ish and Hebrew, cer­ti­fied hatha yoga instructor.

Discussion Questions