Not Our Kind

Written by Kitty Zeldis
Review by Andrea Connell

A fun, absorbing read, Kitty Zeldis’ Not Our Kind takes place in post-WWII New York City. Two women of opposite social and religious upbringings—Eleanor Moskowitz and Patricia Bellamy—meet through a car accident. Out of curiosity about the Jewish girl and guilt about the accident, Patricia invites Eleanor into her world. When she sees how Eleanor brings her brooding and unhappy daughter Margaux (who is recovering from polio) out of her shell, Patricia hires her on the spot. Eleanor, however, becomes a bit too close to the family for Patricia’s liking. Eleanor’s developing relationship with Tom, Patricia’s bohemian and irritatingly irresponsible brother, as well as her hiding the story of an encounter with another family member, makes her too uncomfortable, and the congenial relationship she has fostered with Eleanor suffers.

In its storyline, the novel touches on religious and class prejudices as well as misogyny, a topic especially poignant in the #MeToo era we’re currently experiencing. This isn’t a literary novel, delving deeply into these issues, though—the issues set the stage for a personality- and drama-driven story. It is entertaining and captures the flavor of the city and class differences well.

My gripe with the book, however, is its ending. The storyline hangs in the air, incomplete, which left me frustrated. Overall, Not Our Kind is an enjoyable read. I was absorbed and caught up in the plot until the abrupt ending.