If ever a book could make you laugh and cry simultaneously, this is the one. The novel, written by a man but focused on and examining the life of a woman, is deeply emotional and true-to-life.
“Broadway Baby” is about Miriam Bluestein, who grew up with a single, working mother and was raised by her Holocaust-surviving grandparents. Her grandmother was fascinated with Broadway and spent hours singing with Miriam and talking about the stars. Miriam had talent, and she decided by age 10 that one day she, too, would be on Broadway; this idea was her dream.
Miriam marries young and has children early. She marries a man she believes has promise to make her dreams come true, but he is a working man and he does only that — work. She has three sons and her days are the days of a typical Jewish mother. She wants a life of high drama and passion; she has a life of the mundane. She loves her family dearly, but has trouble showing it.
One of her sons shows some Broadway talent and she begins to live vicariously through him, always believing he will make it big. Then he dies at an early age, having never gotten his big break — though just about to.
The book takes you to the end of Miriam’s and her husband’s life. The journey is often inside her head, showing the pain of her love for her family and her inability to properly show it. It demonstrates the tension between husband and wife — the lack of intimacy and the inability of one woman to let go of a dream.
I would recommend the book to anyone looking for a quick but emotional read.