Red Dress, Apr 2004, 320 pp.
The five Greenblotz cousins sit on the board of directors for the family run matzo company. However, Jake actually runs the firm while his brother handles the Florida sales and documentary film director Heather fills in when Jake needs her. The other two cousins are estranged from this trio.
Heather takes a Food Channel crew on a tour of the matzo factory. Later, the interviewer Steve Meyers asks Heather out. When they return to her apartment following their dinner date, he informs her in the middle of sex that his station wants to televise her family's Passover Seder. After throwing Steve out, Heather panics because her family avoids Seders. She dines on ham while Jake has an Irish Catholic lover; the rest of the family is worse. However, Jake informs her that their business is in trouble as the competitors are part of conglomerates that spend a fortune on advertising. They need this show and a family to go with their Seder so Heather begins the hiring process. Of course the dysfunctional Greenblotz rally around the Seder.
This is an intriguing look at a Jewish family fully assimilated into the American culture. The story line is fun to follow as Heather struggles to understand her heritage beyond her inheritance with the Seder serving as a symbol between the old and the new. Fans will appreciate this insightful look at the de-Americanization of Heather and her family who discover there is more to being Jewish than chocolate matzo.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner