“Sima’s Undergarments for Women” by Ilana Stanger-Ross
August 30, 2021
We’re only one week away from Rosh Hashanah. How are we all feeling? I have a lot of prep to do still, but I’m looking forward to sweet treats and family time.
Believe it or not, I read this book sometime last year and I’ve waited all this time to tell you about it. Its one of the few books that I’ve read so far that really features the High Holidays in its storytelling. I also love that the the friendship between Sima and the much younger Timna helps Sima reconnect with her traditions as well as her husband.
Sima’s Undergarments for Women by Ilana Stanger-Ross is mostly a story of different kinds of love. It takes place in New York where the main character, Sima, owns an undergarment shop in the basement of her townhome. Here, she caters primarily to the surrounding Orthodox community. Then one day, a young Israeli woman, Timna, discovers her shop while on an extended vacation.
Sima immediately finds herself drawn to Timna, and even hires her as a tailor. Through the year, Timna helps Simi transform her shop and even herself. Essentially, Timna becomes the daughter that Simi never had.
Throughout the book, I was wondering what it was that made Sima long for such a close friendship with Timna. Shoot, even her husband is confused. But as the story goes on, you learn a bit more about her past and things become a little clearer. I know. Could I be any more vague? I don’t want to spoil it for you!
Anyway, I think that aside from Sima reconnecting with her husband, the best part of this book is reading about the holiday celebrations. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to live in an area where you can buy a lulav and etrog from a street vendor, or see menorahs in almost every window.
Have you read Sima’s Undergarments for Women? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments below!