The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem

by Sarit Yishai-Levi

Other authorsAnthony Berris (Translator.)
Book, 2016



Call number




New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2016


"The #1 International Best Seller! The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem is a dazzling novel of mothers and daughters, stories told and untold, and the ties that bind four generations of women. Gabriela's mother Luna is the most beautiful woman in all of Jerusalem, though her famed beauty and charm seem to be reserved for everyone but her daughter. Ever since Gabriela can remember, she and Luna have struggled to connect. But when tragedy strikes, Gabriela senses there's more to her mother than painted nails and lips. Desperate to understand their relationship, Gabriela pieces together the stories of her family's previous generations -- from Great-Grandmother Mercada the renowned healer, to Grandma Rosa who cleaned houses for the English, to Luna who had the nicest legs in Jerusalem. But as she uncovers shocking secrets, forbidden romances, and the family curse that links the women together, Gabriela must face a past and present far more complex than she ever imagined. Set against the Golden Age of Hollywood, the dark days of World War II, and the swinging '70s, The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem follows generations of unforgettable women as they forge their own paths through times of dramatic change. With great humor and heart, Sarit Yishai-Levi has given us a powerful story of love and forgiveness -- and the unexpected and enchanting places we find each"--… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member JanaRose1
Gabriela has lived in the shadow of Luna, her beautiful and spoiled mother. While Gabriela has problems connecting with her mother, she is drawn to her Grandmother Rosa. This story outlines their lives, interweaving their stories to paint a complex picture. This was a hard to put down book, I kept
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wanting to find out more about the women and their relationships with one another. My only criticism is that the point of view switched abruptly, sometimes providing repetitive materials. Overall, well worth reading.
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LibraryThing member tori_hoffert
The beauty queen of Jerusalem is a story about the Ermosa family,who are Sephardic Jews that live in Jerusalem. Four generations described in this book from the 1930's to the 1970's. There is a curse runs in the blood of the Ermosa family. The men of the family marry women who do not love, and
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women, not loved, pass the curse down to their children. This story has multiple generations and strong female characters. I enjoyed this book.
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LibraryThing member wagner.sarah35
I struggled to get into this book, although to be fair it could be the translation. I did like the multi-generation stories of the family and learning about their perspective on the historical events which surrounded them - Israeli independence and the related conflicts changed how some family
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members were perceived by their community. As fascinating as it was, I felt I never really got into the story or truly empathized with the characters.
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LibraryThing member joannemonck
For historical fiction readers this is a must. The book takes place during and after WWII. The main characters are Spanish Jews who relocated to Jerusalem generations ago and how their lives change thru the years with marriages, children and family feuds.
LibraryThing member evatkaplan
well written but not good story. About a dysfunctional mother, daughter and granddaughter with a "curse" not to be loved by their spouse. takes place from 1935--2000 about a Sephardic family living in Jerusalem. Can see the history of Israel, with names of streets and places that exist today.

Original language



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