Every House Needs A Balcony by Rina Frank

Every House Needs a Balcony by Rina Frank: Book Cover

In the 1950s Rina, her sister and their Romanian immigrant parents lived in a crowded apartment with other relatives in Haifa, Israel.  It may have been a tight fit but at least they had a balcony. That was their way to see what was going on in their world and vice-versa.   Rina’s parents worked hard at jobs outside their training.  Their mother was an accountant in Romania but now cleaned houses. Their photographer father  now worked small jobs and looked after his daughters. Life wasn’t easy but the girls knew they were loved.

The novel takes us primarily through Rina’s life – her sister becomes a supporting character.  Rina falls in love, marries a young man from Spain and they move back to Israel to be near her family.  As in any life they experience heartbreak and we find out how they deal with it.

My thoughts: Although a lot of things happen in this book it felt more like a list of family events than a fluid novel.  The chapters move alternately between Rina as a stubborn young girl and Rina as a stubborn – some might say selfish – adult. The bones of a good story are there but I never felt emotionally drawn to the characters. Perhaps it lost something in the translation.   The cover of the review copy states that it is an “International Bestseller” so other readers may have a different reaction.

Did you read Every House Needs A Balcony? Feel free to leave a link to your review.

Uncorrected Proof from HarperCollins

11 thoughts on “Every House Needs A Balcony by Rina Frank

  1. I find it very frustrating when a novel seems to be a catalogue of events rather than a smoothly flowing article. I’ve read quite a few reviews of this book now and they all seem to agree that the writing was not all it could have been. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


    • That’s interesting about the other reviews. I haven’t read any yet because I don’t like to influence my reaction to a review book.


  2. I remember seeing this on your blog maybe when you rec’d it and thought it sounded good but, like you, I don’t like reading a list of events. It has to be put into some kind of a cohesive story for me to really enjoy it.


  3. Some books have a much better sounding synopsis than the actual book. This one did sound good but a story that doesn’t flow and a plot that is all “tell me” and no “show me” doesn’t bode well. Guess I’ll pass on this one. Hopefully, your next book will be a 5*


  4. I can certainly understand why every house needs a balcony. I feel that way about my front porch! I need to be connected in some fashion to the characters or else the book really means nothing to me. Thanks for your review of this one.


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