"Secrets of a Jewish Mother: Real Advice, Real Stories, Real Love" (Dutton, 320 pages, $25.95), by Jill Zarin, Lisa Wexler and Gloria Kamen. "Secrets of a Jewish Mother" is a book of advice written by Jill Zarin, one of the cast members of "The Real Housewives of New York City." Her mother and sister are co-authors. The women claim to have a lot of wisdom and insight because of life experiences and their close-knit Jewish family.
Bravo's "The Real Housewives" is a hot, water cooler franchise at the moment, so it's a great time for publication of the book. The show's fans will be curious to see if Zarin dishes on her co-stars. (She mentions them, but not very much.)
The book is broken into themes such as friendship, dating and career, and the women write anecdotes from their lives to support what they have learned. They acknowledge when they were right — and when they were wrong — and encourage the reader to do the same.
At times, the advice seems excessive, or unnecessary.
The section about beauty and health features the women weighing in on their favorite beauty treatments. (Jill and Gloria love facials! Lisa says regular manicures are a waste of money!)
The best part of "Secrets of a Jewish Mother: Real Advice, Real Stories, Real Love" is the list of questions called "ask yourself" found at the end of each section. Examples include: "How do you keep in touch with your friends?" and "What are your faults? Come clean."
Will readers run to the book when encountering a delicate situation and in need of advice? No. Is it possible to read the book and stumble upon something that makes you think? Sure.