The Girls by Helen Yglesias

May 7, 2010

The Girls by Helen Yglesias Set in Miami, Florida, The Girls is a black comedy about four elderly Jewish sisters - Eva, ninety-five, Naomi, ninety, Flora, eighty-five and Jenny who is eighty. As the novel opens, Jenny, who lives in Maine, is traveling to Miami to tend to Naomi, who is undergoing surgery for cancer and to visit with her other two sisters. Miami Beach is as much a main character in this story as the four sisters. It's decline from the way it was years ago parallels the physical decline of the sisters. Much happens during Jenny's visit - Eva celebrates her 95th birthday, Flora performs her one-woman show at the Hebrew Home for the Aged, Naomi has her surgery and a first-class storm hits the city. In the end, Flora and Jenny accompany Eva and Naomi to a nursing home that will be the final destination in their lives. This is a somber but also humorous tale of single women coping with the indignities of aging.

Reviewed by Library Staff