The Modern Jewish Girl’s Guide to Guilt Book Review

There is joke within the Jewish community. While sitting around the family table and sharing a meal, a good-sized helping of guilt is often part of the meal.

The 2005 book, The Modern Jewish Girl’s Guide to Guilt, by Ruth Andrew Ellenson, is all about guilt, especially from the perspective of a Jewish woman. Each essayist presents Jewish guilt from her own perspective. Whether it is motherhood (or lack thereof), marriage (or lack thereof), lifestyle choices, issues with her family, there is always something to be guilty about.

What I really liked about this book was that not only was it funny, but the writers came from across the religious and cultural perspective that is Judaism. I found myself chuckling and nodding in agreement with several of the essays. It was not hard to find an experience that was similar to my own. While some readers may initially turn the book down because the writers are Jews and their experiences are through a Jewish lens, I would recommend that non-Jewish readers give this book a chance. Jews are not the only ones who serve a healthy dose of guilt to their children.

I recommend it.

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