My Old Man
A NovelBook - 2004
Dropping out of rabbinical school when a counseling session goes awry, twenty-five-year-old Rachel Block takes a bartending job in her brownstone Brooklyn neighborhood, falls in love with a non-Jewish screenwriter, and witnesses the second childhoods of her parents. 50,000 first printing.
Simon and Schuster
From the New York Times bestselling author and one of the city's most provocative columnists comes a hip, contemporary novel about love, lust, and living in the same neighborhood as your parents.
When twenty-six-year-old Rachel Block started rabbinical school, she didn't think she'd be dropping out after a semester and a half. But when a sick man dies under her counseling, she realizes she's not cut out for the rabbinate. To make ends meet, she takes a job as a bartender in Cobble Hill, her Brooklyn neighborhood -- much to her parents' chagrin. Until now Rachel has always been the perfect daughter, getting straight A's and dating nice Jewish boys. Now she's fending off come-ons from sleazy guys and trying to remember the ingredients in a Metropolitan. It's the quintessential quarter-life crisis, compounded by the fact that she's still living just blocks from her childhood home. To make matters worse, she's having trouble sleeping -- she can barely get through the night without being awakened by the amorous noises of her sexy friend and upstairs neighbor, Liz Kaminsky.
Then Rachel falls in love with Hank Powell, an iconoclastic screenwriter twice her age (and a Gentile!) and finds herself acting more and more like Liz. Suddenly she's reassessing her values, her surroundings, and everything she's ever believed about the "right" kind of relationship. She begins dressing up in outrageous outfits for midday trysts, while hiding the dirty details from a newly modest Liz. Meanwhile, her interactions with her father, with whom she's always been close, have become increasingly strange. Is he distraught that she's dropped out of school? Is he having his own (midlife) crisis? Or is he upset over her mother's newfound independence, now that she's entered menopause and discovered the joys of a book group? Something's up...and Rachel's increasingly convinced it might be her father's libido.
With Rachel's own relationship getting wilder and weirder and her parents acting like teenagers, it seems that everyone in Cobble Hill is going crazy. A fresh spin on Philip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint, My Old Man is a sexy comedy about a dysfunctional Brooklyn family coming apart at the seams.