Interview with a Jewish Vampire

Interview with a Jewish Vampire - Erica Manfred Rhoda is 41 years old, overweight, Jewish and looking for a Jewish man to settle down with after her marriage broke up and she’s had a series of poor relationships since then. Just her luck that the first man who seems interested isn’t a man at all – he’s a vampire. But at least he’s Jewish. And he’s into her – zaftig and all.Dating a vampire isn’t easy, especially not a vampire in an orthodox community when you’re anything but. Rhoda has to work through her own personal insecurities as well, as someone who has been through the wringer a few times already, it’s hard to be so invested in someone who is so very different; Rhoda flails between worry about their relationship to desperately trying to make it work even while Sheldon has to deal with his own family and friends.And then there’s Rhoda’s mother with the heart condition. She has to go through yet another horrendous surgery or she won’t live much longer – and at 81, that surgery doesn’t look too safe. Unable to stand the thought of life alone, Rhoda makes the leap into seeing her mother – and her friends “the goils” become a vampire and join the Golden Grandmas – a network of elderly vampire women.But while undeath brings her mother a new lease of life and energy, allowing her to throw herself into activities she hasn’t enjoyed in decades, it also brings with it a disturbing blood lust, a hunger that drives her to the darker side of life and death. And one that leaves bodies in its wake – and the possible attention of the vampire authoritiesThere is a wonderful sense of Jewish culture – Rhoda and her family and contacts are all very real people who live their culture and carry it with them at all times. It’s in their language, their food, their family bonds, their history and their understanding. It’s funny without being mocked, heavy without being stereotyped. It’s used for in community jokes but never outside mockery. It’s funny, it’s witty and the characters are extremely real and natural. The characters make this book.We also have some fascinating conflicts – Sheldon being torn between his fellow Hasids and fellow vampires, whether Rhoda, a non-kosher, non-practicing Jew would fit in with such a traditional, orthodox family and, of course Goldie, Sheldon’s golem who is determined to see him settle down with a nice, orthodox, Jewish vampire. I’m also really disappointed with how Goldie was handled, especially since she’s clearly a stand in for Sheldon’s mother. I would rather have had reconciliation rather than the future wife having to kill her future mother-in-law for the wedding to even happen.Read More