Find your next favorite audiobook

Become a member today and listen free for 30 days
Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English

Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English

Written by Natasha Solomons

Narrated by James Adams


Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English

Written by Natasha Solomons

Narrated by James Adams

ratings:
3.5/5 (21 ratings)
Length:
10 hours
Released:
Jun 23, 2010
ISBN:
9781615731114
Format:
Audiobook

Description

At the start of World War II, Jack and Sadie Rosenblum flee Berlin for London with their baby daughter, Elizabeth. Upon arrival, Jack receives a pamphlet from the German Jewish Aid Committee on how to act like a proper Englishman. He follows it to the letter—Saville Row suits, the BBC, trips to Covent Garden, a Jaguar—and it works like a charm. The Rosenblums settle into a prosperous new life.

Just one item on the list eludes him: "An Englishman must be a member of a golf course." No golf course in England at the time will admit a Jew. But the list is now the guiding document in Jack's life, and he must check off the final item. So he decides to build his own golf club in the Dorset countryside. For the second time, Sadie leaves a home she loves. And despite ancient customs, British snobbery, mythical beasts, and a shrinking bank account, they triumph once again.
Released:
Jun 23, 2010
ISBN:
9781615731114
Format:
Audiobook

About the author


Related to Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English

Related Audiobooks
Related Articles

Reviews

What people think about Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English

3.7
21 ratings / 24 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    Mr. Rosenblum manages to leave Germany with his wife and daughter in the 1930s and wants very much to be as English as possible. The story comes near the horror of the Holocaust, but moves in another direction thanks to some magical, mythical people and events to a charming, happy ending. And Mr. Rosenblum becomes more English than some native born peers.Legendary Dorset woolly-pigs figure in the story:"They were said to be plentiful during ancient times and could Brant the pure-hearted their true wish. But then the knights hunted them for sport and the woolly-pis grew angry and refused to grant any more wishes, pure of heart or not. They hid in the depths of the oldest forests and bored any who tried to find them. As the trees were hacked down and the woodlands became smaller and smaller, they died of sorrow. A few are said to still wander the forests bleating their sadness." [pp. 137-138]And this recipe reminds me of the story of an older relative unsuccessfully showing my mother how to make knishes (their handfuls of flour were different sizes):Sadie read out the recipe, "Whip together a batter made of eggs, the right amount of sugar, sufficient flour and the perfect quantity of vanilla." [p. 102]
  • (5/5)
    The story starts off a bit slow bouncing back and forth to the present and past. The story revolves around the main character's (Jack Rosenblum) efforts, determination and the strong will-to-survive in England around the time of the Holocaust. He religiously follows the guide/pamphlet given to him while he arrives at the refugee camp. He adapts himself to adhere to the new life to become the perfect Englishman. However his wife is too sick of this obsession of his. How their life takes many twists and turns getting them a lot of uncanny stares in the new country and a few good friends who help the couple survive is explained beautifully. The many dilemmas that he faces while on the way to building a golf course all by himself really can tense you up. In a nutshell, this book is a must read, not just to get motivated to follow your dreams, but also to learn how, when life throws us into many difficult situations, we need to rise back up and figure out a new way to reach the goals; of course, without any ego in the way.
  • (5/5)
    I read this a couple of years ago. What a story about the desire to fit in. I imagine there are many immigrants around the world right now, asylum seekers too, who are following their own versions of Mr. Rosenblum's list. Reading it makes you realise how hard we make it for others, and yes, I do mean even today, not just when this book was set. Nothing has changed. Beautifully written, but at times painful to read, when you see the struggles they have to try to fit in. This book is on my list of my Top 10 reads ever.
  • (4/5)
    A simply lovely but subtly complicated book. Mr. Rosenblum wants nothing more passionately than to be a perfect English gentleman. The problem is, he's a Jewish immigrant, hopelessly out of place. Nonetheless he learns to dress, speak, and behave like a true Englishman. All he needs now is membership to a gold club...This is a bittersweet comedy, or a very funny book of tragic history, depending on how you look at it. There's a wonderful marriage in the midst of this book, and a great focus on friendship. I plan to read The House at Tyneford.
  • (5/5)
    This book is about a Jewish man and his wife who escape the Nazis and find shelter in England. Jack has burning desire to become an English man and fit in. He tries to join a golf club, but then decides to build his own because this is the final item which will make him truly English. This book eloquently shows us what it means to be human through Jack's sucesses and his setbacks. Many books have good characters and good plots, but this book goes deeper. The immigrant experience in this book teaches us about ourselves and one another. Some of these phrase are somewhat cliche, but this book merits that description.
  • (4/5)
    I recently read Solomon's "A Novel in the Viola" and loved it, so was particularly eager to see if this novel retained a similar kind of magic. Actually for me, this was even better- because it was so wonderfully off the wall and was a brilliantly eclectic mix of humour, heartbreak and optimism. This is a really cracking novel and as far as debuts go, I found it flawless.Though the title of the book initially appeared a bit frothy and the cover a little bit twee, the context of the novel is actually quite substantial, focusing on a Jewish immigrant family arriving in Britain during WWII. Jacob (Jack) Rosenblum becomes fixated with trying to be accepted by his new countrymen and fitting in as a proper `English gentleman' much to the chagrin of his long-suffering wife, Sadie. Moving from London to deepest Dorset, the book chronicles the trials and tribulations of the immigrants trying to gain acceptance, a theme which will no doubt resonate with a lot of readers.The tone of this novel rather put me in mind of Alexander McCall Smiths books- gentle and thought provoking, despite the issues concentrated on. The plot is not fast-paced but becomes all the more appealing for that and as a reader you really get pulled into the story and experience Jack and Sadie's journeys and troubles along with them.The characters are wonderfully written and retain a real sense of charm and whimsy with all of their funny little foibles. The only one I couldn't really feel a lot for was Elizabeth, Jack and Sadie's daughter, who did appear a little bit one dimensional. I really felt for Sadie, a woman who has suffered her own set of heartbreaks in the past, yet isn't really understood by her husband. She was a different kind of heroine to read about, which I enjoyed.I would say that if you are looking for a different kind of read away from gushy romance or gory horror then to definitely give this a go. It is wonderfully old-fashioned and sweet- but thankfully never sickeningly so. *This review also appears on Amazon.co.uk*
  • (4/5)
    A wonderful book. I laughed out loud and wiped teary eyes on the way, sharing ups and downs of a couple looking for - home. Having just finished reading, I miss Jack and Sadie already, and while I was reading I missed having grandparents like them, out in the countryside, learning important lessons about life, and what is really important.
  • (1/5)
    I was so looking forward to this novel because of all the blurb I'd seen and heard about it, and was left disappointed. I see another reviewer has said that they didn't 'get into it' until halfway through, well I didn't last that long! Just didn't pull me in at all, I just didn't find myself saying, 'I want to go and read my book', so it got the flick.... oh well.
  • (3/5)
    I was intrigued by this book 1) because I love historical fiction. 2) because my heritage is both German and Welsh. 3) the story of someone trying so hard to be accepted. I will have to admit, this book started off a little slow for me and I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. But once I got past the half-way mark, I was completely interested and was looking forward to seeing how the story played out. Many times I wanted to strangle Mr Rosenblum and then a few pages later I was feeling sorry for him. He was so focused on becoming an Englishman that he lost sight of other important things in the process. This story plays out in our lives now and I see this with others trying so hard to prove themselves in their careers that they lose sight of their family in the process. I just adored Mrs Rosenblum (Sadie) and would have loved to be with her in her kitchen baking all day long. She remained faithful to her husband's dream even if she wasn't happy about it and found her way in the new world. And in that process found her way back to her husband. And when he fell, surprisingly, she was the one to pick him back up. I admired her for that and for not carrying the bitterness that I am sure she felt. This story is a lovely, quiet read, perfect for those cold winter evenings. You don't have to be a lover of golf to enjoy this story, but if you are, it would add another level of appreciation. __________________________________________________________________________________Our book club discussed this book as well. Everybody pretty much felt the same way about it as I did. They said it took until Sadie had her incident at the pond before they got really into the story. Many of them were frustrated with Mr. Rosenblum but could understand his desire to feel included. We also were intrigued with the baking of the baumtorte. The relationship between Sadie and Jack was also a point of discussion and how it resembled many of today's relationships.
  • (3/5)
    Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English by Natasha SolomonPublished by Reagan Arthur Books/Little, Brown and CompanyISBN 978-0-316-07758-3At the request of Reagan Arthur/Hachette Books a HC was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest opinion. Synopsis (borrowed from book's jacket): At the outset of World War II, Jack Rosenblum, his wife, Sadie, and their baby daughter escape Berlin, bound for London. They are greeted with a pamphlet instructing immigrants how to act like "the English." Jack acquires Savile Row suits and a Jaguar. He buys his marmalade from Fortnum & Mason and learns to list the entire British monarchy back to 978 AD. He never speaks German, apart for the occasional curse. But the one key item that would make him feel fully British-membership in a golf club-remains elusive. In postwar England, no golf club will admit a Rosenblum. Jack hatches a wild idea, he''ll build his own. It's an obsession Sadie does not share, particularly when Jack relocates them to a thatch-roofed cottage in Dorset to embark on his project. She doesn't want to forget who they are or where they came from. She wants to bake the cakes she used to serve to friends in the old country and reminisce. Now she's stuck in an inhospitable landscape filled with unwelcoming people, watching their bank account shrink as Jack pursues his quixotic dream. My Thoughts and Opinion: I have to be honest that I was quite skeptical in reading this book because I received it with no prior knowledge and add to that, that this was a debut novel. It is not the type of book that I would routinely read, but was pleasantly surprised once I picked it up. Ms. Solomons writing style was written, with such detailed descriptions and with the flow of the story line, as if it was by a seasoned author. The characters relatable. I found that there were a gamut of emotions felt for both Mr. Rosenblum and his wife, Sadie due to the descriptive and poignant words that the author was able to convey to this reader. I did enjoy this book but, and this is my opinion and my opinion only, it was not a fast paced, page turning read. I didn't find myself "needing" to pick it up. (Possible Spoiler Alert)......I was surprised to see that the premise of this story was taken from her "grandparent's experience" and wonder if I had known that it was based on reality that I would have had a different reading experience. Rating: 3
  • (4/5)
    Jack and Sadie Rosenblum with daughter Elizabeth escape Germany at the beginning of World War II. On their arrival in England, a man from the German Jewish Aid Committee hands them a pamphlet on helpful information for refugees. Jack believes the pamphlet is a recipe for happiness, setting out the rules for becoming a genuine Englishman. As they settle into a new life, Jack applies for membership in various golf clubs. When every club rejects him, Jack and his wife move to a small village in Dorset. Determined to obtain his dream, Jack enthusiastically plans a golf course on their property. But, Sadie mourns for the family left behind in Germany and bakes cakes in remembrance. Natasha Solomons balances sorrow and humor in her novel about assimilation, remembrance and rural life. She dusts the storyline with a touch of magic and populates the Dorset countryside with quirky characters. This quiet novel has its roots in the history of her grandparents.
  • (2/5)
    I did not like it. it was more tragic than fun.
  • (4/5)
    Just adorable story of a German couple who make it to London in 1937 and the rest of their lives. Mrs. Rosenblum can't recover from the grief of losing her family to the Nazis, but Mr. Rosenblum is convinced their safety lies in his ability to become the perfect Englishman.
  • (4/5)
    From My Blog...Mr. Rosenblum Dreams In English by Natasha Solomons is a charming, at times eccentric, and all around enduring book about Jack and Sadie Rosenblum and their daughter Elizabeth, German Jewish war refugees who emigrated to Dorset, England in 1937. Upon arrival they are given a pamphlet on how to assimilate into British society called "Helpful Information and Guidance for every Refugee", a series of eight guidelines or rules to follow, a notion Sadie thinks silly while Jack takes rather seriously and over fifty years he continuously adds to his ever-growing list. Jack does everything he can to be seen as not a refugee, but rather an English Gentleman. As the years pass, his business thrives and Jack decides it is time to move up the social ladder and one rung he has not reached is to belong to a golf club and to become a true Dorset Englishman. It is this ultimate goal where Jack Rosenblum runs into difficulties and at times some unsavoury comments. Solomons does a masterful job at writing a beautifully descriptive book on England during the war years and the aftermath, the dress, style, and mannerisms. Her main characters are enduring and realistic, and her writing style is richly descriptive and enduring. The relationship between the Rosenblums is beautiful and dynamic even if their dreams are not entirely the same. I truly enjoyed reading Mr. Rosenblum Dreams In English and would recommend this beautiful, witty, and deeply touching book to anyone looking for a sweet and enduring read. It was an added bonus to learn Natasha Solomons based this, her first book, on her grandparents' lives.
  • (4/5)
    Jack and Sadie Rosenbloom emigrated to London, England just before the Second World War. When they arrived in their new country, Jack was given a checklist on how a proper English citizen behaves - a cheat sheet on how to blend in to his new home. Following it literally and without knowing all the nuances that any British citizen takes for granted sometimes leaves him puzzled and bewildered, but never daunted. Mr. Rosenbloom Dreams in English is Jack and Sadie's story of how they adapted to their new lives and sometimes how they didn't.I really enjoyed Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English (called Mr. Rosenblum's List in the UK). I think Natasha Solomon did a fabulous job in relating what it's like to integrate into a new and very alien life. While I'm not Jewish, I found Jack and Sadie's experiences as Jewish immigrants easy to relate to and I recognized Jack's struggle to fit into a new country and its well-established culture very well. The author's light touch in representing the Rosenblum's struggle to blend in made the story a lot less heavy-handed than it might otherwise have been.Food is used throughout the story to demonstrate how family and family history is cherished and memories held dear. One particular dessert, a baumtorte, is prepared by Sadie during her most challenging days and helps her cope with her feelings of sadness at the lives lost during the war. The author uses the layered cake as a rich metaphor for layers of memories.The characters in this book are muti-faceted. Jack and Sadie are neither all good nor all bad - a bit of each quality are in both and it is what I believe gives the book depth and richness. The author knows her characters; Jack is normally an optimistic man and I couldn't help but root for him even when he did something that aggravated me. Writing from the perspective of a male character couldn't have been easy but Natasha Solomons succeeded.I recommend this wonderful novel to anyone who enjoys reading stories about family bonds and true friendship.
  • (4/5)
    I was really pleased with this novel.

    The novel isn't too long, the chapters are quite short and it's a really manageable read. While the plot or pretence is more whimsical than believable it was still really sweet and the characters were characters that I liked as people.

    This was my first Natasha Solomons novel that I read and I did go on to read a few of her other books and really enjoyed them as well.

    If you like really twee, gentle, humorous sorts of reads then you'll probably really enjoy this book. But despite the fact that it was very light there were some big themes in there and that helped to give the novel a little more depth.

    Overall, I did really enjoy this novel and it's one that I recommend to quite a few people quite readily.
  • (3/5)
    For me, this book split into two halves.

    The Rosenblum's arrive in Britain as refugees from pre-War Nazi Germany. On arrival they're given a list of do's & don'ts to help them acclimatise and assimilate into British life. Jack Rosenblum takes these to heart, adhering to them strictly and even adding additional 'rules' as he strives to become the perfect English Gentleman. The thing I found difficult with all this, is the casual, institutional racism - not that it didn't exist, but more that it must have mirrored the experiences of my Father when he arrived, post-war, as a refugee from Eastern Europe. I don't remember him saying that he was given a 'list' but he was certainly held in a camp for a couple of weeks whilst they were taught rudimentary English before sending them out into the working world. It was all too personal for me and I didn't enjoy reading it. That the author could engender that level of feeling is testament to her ability.

    Jack is successful and when thwarted in his attempts to join a golf club, he ups sticks and moves to Dorset where he plans to build his own course. Again, racism rears it's ugly head but, to be fair, it's more of the 'incomer' to a small village than his race and religion per se. This is where the story picked up for me and I enjoyed the second half of the book much more. Jack takes to his task and begins to win friends in the village. His wife, Sadie, also comes more to the fore and you watch her work through her sadness of losing her home in Germany, then London before finally settling into Dorset life. Her sadness of family lost and the way she bakes to remember are so touching and yet totally ignored by Jack who is consumed by his Golf Course,

    The story builds to it's denouement and is hardly a surprise, but still enjoyable. I did find, though, that it wrapped up rather too abruptly, I would have liked a little more of what happened next, before we got to the 'final' chapter.

    One last thing: One of the things I found most interesting was the postscript notes. The real people that the author amalgamated to create the Rosenblums and the real list that was given to refugees at that time.
  • (4/5)
    Jack Rosenblum arrived in England with his wife and baby daughter in 1937 & is given a pamphlet about "how to act like an Englishman" by the immigration authorities. He takes the advice to heart, and over the years adds more items in his attempt to thoroughly blend in with his adopted community. But being accepted as an Englishman Is much more difficult for a German Jewish refugee than Jack would like to admit. He becomes a successful businessman, wears bespoke suits and drives a Jaguar, but the ultimately mate goal of joining a great of club eluded him. After being turned down multiple times by multiple clubs, Jack decides he will build houses s own club in Dorset.His wife, Sadie, however, does not share her s enthusiasm, either for assimilating or for the good of club. What occupies her thoughts is what she lost in the war: her home, her country and her parents and beloved brother.But something happens in Dorset. The country & its people seem to pixilate both Jack & Sadie. As Jack pursues his golf course dream, Sadie gardens, raises chickens and bakes from her mother's recipe book as an act of remembrance. And slowly and magically, the land and its people embrace Jack and his wife and make all their dreams come true.This is a magical novel about love, loss and finally fitting in without giving up who you are.
  • (4/5)
    A delightful and magical book about culture and assimilation.
  • (2/5)
    I need to come to terms with the fact that I am not going to finish this book. It has languished on my "Reading Now" shelf while I have read a number of other books; and, I am not going to pick it back up. I just didn't miss it, and I never wondered how it ended. It's time for me to write an abbreviated review of what I did read, and move on.

    Don't get me wrong, it was a cute book...what I read of it. I liked his wife, Sadie, the most. I just never really became invested in the story. Jack was a bit of a caricature to me. He pursued a single endeavor to the exclusion of all else, until another endeavor caught his fancy. He was single-minded, selfish, and naïve enough to let those things which should have been most dear to him slip away. I just became to frustrated with his character to really care what happened.

    I am sorry to say that I cannot recommend this one.
  • (3/5)
    Fun reading as well as some messages to take with you.
    German Jews who escape WWII to England - and Oh, his attempts to BECOME "English" !
    Or he'll build a part of England that's his and he can BE English.
    Local characters, etc.
    Enjoyed it.
    Read in 2010.
  • (4/5)
    Sarah und Jack Rosenblum sind als jüdische Flüchtlinge 1937 nach England gekommen. Sarah trauert um ihre verlorene Familie, Jack hingegen möchte zum perfekten Engländer werden. Dass ihm zum Glück nun ausgerechnet ein Golfclub fehlt und er diesen selbst bauen möchte, das ist ein etwas abwegiger Gedanke- aber darum geht es nun in diesem Buch. Wie das Buch ausgehen wird, kann man sich unterwegs denken, dennoch ist es wirklich absolut rührend (ich habe in letzter Zeit selten bei einem Buch so geweint). Das Buch läst aber auch Raum zum Nachdenken: Wie sehr kann man sich assimilieren, ohne sich zu verlieren? Wie sehr kann man sich in Trauer verlieren, ohne anderen die Möglichkeit für eine Brücke zu geben? Das Buch ist anscheinend auch ein bisschen an der eigenen Geschichte der Familie der Autorin angelehnt.
  • (5/5)
    This book follows the fortunes of Jack and Sadie, Jewish refugees from Germany trying to gain acceptance into English society in the years following the second world war. The way Jack is treated by some “proper” English people begs the question why he would ever want to be one of them, and yet his tenacity is one of the things that make him such an engaging character.The author writes with such skill – describing the rural setting in such a way that the greenery seems to poke up through the page, and doing so again and again and making it new every time. She also incorporates little bits of magic into the story without ever stopping it feeling real. There is profound sadness but it is nicely balanced by humour, and there are issues – like the loss of the characters’ cultural identity and links with the past – which are clearly traceable as the story unfolds.The author’s notes – complete with recipe - at the end were illuminating too. I am so going to make a Baumtorte.
  • (3/5)
    Jack and Sadie Rosenblum are Germans who have come to live in England in 1937. On arrival, they are given a pamphlet explaining how they should behave, speak etc to be perfect British citizens. Sadie is not impressed, and misses her old life in Germany, whereas Jack takes it all on board and sets out to leave his old life behind and be a proper English gentleman. I expected this book to be a charming story of a couple struggling to fit in to a foreign culture, and thought there would be lots of little faux pas that would be amusing and sweet to read. However, this book is pretty much all about Jack trying to achieve the final entry on his list (which he has amended and added to over the years), which is to be a member of a golf club. When he is turned down for membership of every club in the country, he decides to build his own course in Dorset. I was disappointed in this book, and feel that it’s not quite what it says in the blurb. It’s obviously quaint and eccentric, but not what I was hoping and expecting it to be unfortunately.