A heartwarming, funny and provocative memoir of a woman navigating clashing cultures during her decades-long friendship with an Orthodox Jewish family, new in paperback
When 20-year-old student J. S. Margot took a tutoring job in 1987, little did she know it would open up an entire world.
In the family's Orthodox Jewish household she would encounter endless rules - 'never come on a Friday, never shake hands with a man' - and quirks she had not seen before: tiny tubes on the doorposts, separate fridges for meat and dairy products. Her initial response was puzzlement and occasionally anger, but as she taught the children and fiercely debated with the family, she also began to learn from them.
Full of funny misunderstandings and unexpected connections, Mazel Tov is a heartwarming, provocative and disarmingly honest memoir of clashing cultures and unusual friendships - and of how, where adults build walls, sometimes only children can dissolve them.
J.S. Margot (b. 1967) is a journalist and freelance writer based in Antwerp. An award-winning contributor to leading national newspapers De Standaard and De Morgen, she has also written five novels and lectures regularly in both the Netherlands and Belgium. In 2017 she was awarded the E. du Perronprijs and the Prize for the best Religious book from the VUKPP for Mazel Tov, which was also highly acclaimed in the Dutch and Belgian press. Mazel Tov has been translated into German, French and Polish and won the Best Book Award in Poland; it is her first book to be translated into English.