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Reviewed by Heather Osborne for Readers' Favorite
Managing Bubbie by Russel Lazega is a heartwarming and hysterical memoir of his “Bubbie,” Lea Lazega. Intermixed with a narrative about her harrowing journey across Europe to America during World War Two are snippets of conversations between various family members, providing insight into the modern life of this courageous woman. As the Nazis invade countries in Europe, Lea manages to escape by the skin of her teeth with her three small children. Being Jewish at this time was difficult enough, but Lea continues to show courage in the face of adversity, finally managing to get her children out of Europe, back to America and safety.
I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir. Mr. Lazega had me from the beginning, as I am a huge Neil Simon fan. I was reminded of Brighton Beach Memoirs, a play I have directed, in the way he portrayed the scenes of his family life. Even more inspiring was Lea’s journey through war-torn Europe. I can only imagine the fear she must have felt, knowing at any moment they could be caught and sent to a concentration camp. I did not want the story to end, and I wanted to know what exactly happened to Eva and Lea’s first husband. Mr. Lazega has done an impeccable job weaving together the memories and experiences of his Bubbie. I loved the addition of letters and photographs to bring even more life to the colorful members of his family. Managing Bubbie by Russel Lazega is certainly a different type of Holocaust memoir, one of hope, inspiration, and humor.