Feeding Mrs. Moskowitz & the Caregiver
by Barbara Pokras & Fran Pokras Yariv

Syracuse U. Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-815-60978-0.
Reviewed by Judith Helburn
Posted on 01/26/2010
Review of the Month, March 2010

Fiction: Mainstream

Imagine this. A dumpy elderly widow, Mrs. Moskowitz, who has trouble remembering everyday needs heads out of her apartment for a little grocery shopping. A neurotic young woman, Natalie, obsessing with guilt about how she didn't attend to her mother before her mother's death hurries to work. They collide and a fairy tale is born. A happy fairy tale. Other characters include an insurance adjuster and a painter or two. Barbara Pokras, a film editor in another life, has written a charming, totally unbelievable tale with hilarious yet realistic dialog both out loud and within the thought process. The women by themselves could be our neighbors. It is the situations which are outlandish. A delightful read.

Fran Pokras Yariv, sister of Barbara Pokras, creates a more serious character, Ofelia, in The Caregiver. If I'm ever in a situation which calls for a caregiver, I want Ofelia. She is compassionate, thoughtful and efficient in her work as a private caregiver in the Sunset Hills Retirement Community. She minces no words in her journal and her conversations with the staff about the management treatment of the guests. She treats her charge, Mrs. Breur with dignity and care. Her dealings with the daughter- in- charge is more like walking on eggs.

In this longer novella, we meet several of the other inhabitants of Sunset Hills, who strive to remain interesting individuals while skirting numerous rules and regulations. As in her sister's novella, conversations are natural and often hilarious. It takes very little time for the reader to join the retiree/staff team against the management team. I know that independent living facilities can and often are outstanding in their care of their residents, but not in this situation.

Both authors shine in their depiction of aging human beings as fighters in the "not dead yet" crusade. Hurrah for fiction which illustrates some positive aspects of aging.

Barbara Pokras is an Emmy award-winning film editor. She is a member of American Cinema Editors, Inc. and of the Motion Pictures Editors Guild. She taught in the Cinema Department of the University of Southern California. She lives in Upstate NY where she writes for the Woodstock Film Fesitval and grows organic vegetables.

Fran Pokras Yariv was awarded a Writers Guild of America, East Foundation Fellowship in screenwriting and is a member of the Authors Guild and more. Yariv is also the author of two screenplays and five novels, including Last Exit and Safe Haven. She lives in Pasadena CA.

Authors/Publicists: For promotion purposes, you may quote excerpts of up to 200 words from our reviews, with a link to the page on which the review is posted. ©Copyright to the review is held by the writer (review posting date appears on the review page). If you wish to reprint the full review, you may do so ONLY with her written permission, and with a link to http://www.storycirclebookreviews.org. Contact our Book Review Editor (bookreviews at storycirclebookreviews.org) with your request and she will forward it to the appropriate person.

StoryCircleBookReviews.org has received a copy of this book for review from the author, publisher, or publicist. We have received no other compensation.

StoryCircleBookReviews provides a review venue for women self-published authors and for women's books published by independent and university presses.

Email me with news about your book reviews

Sarton Women's Book Award

Your ad could be here.
Advertise with us!


Visit us on Facebook and Twitter and goodreads.

Buy books online through amazon.com by simply clicking on the book cover or title. Your purchase will support our work of encouraging all women to tell their stories.
This title is currently available ONLY as an e-book