And the Bride Closed the Door
Ronit Matalon

Book cover image

Narrated By: Deepti Gupta

Duration: 2 hours and 53 minutes

What to expect

A young bride shuts herself up in a bedroom on her wedding day, refusing to get married.

In this moving and humorous look at contemporary Israel and the chaotic ups and downs of love everywhere, her family gathers outside the locked door, not knowing what to do. The bride’s mother has lost a younger daughter in unclear circumstances. Her grandmother is hard of hearing, yet seems to understand her better than anyone. A male cousin who likes to wear women’s clothes and jewelry clings to his grandmother like a little boy. The family tries an array of unusual tactics to ensure the wedding goes ahead, including a psychologist specializing in brides who change their mind and a ladder truck from the Palestinian Authority electrical company. The only communication they receive from behind the door are scribbled notes, one of them a cryptic poem about a prodigal daughter returning home.

The harder they try to reach the defiant woman, the more the despairing groom is convinced her refusal should be respected. But what, exactly, ought to be respected? Is this merely a case of cold feet? A feminist statement? A mourning ritual for a lost sister?

This provocative and highly entertaining novel lingers long after its final page.

Genre

Fiction: general and literary, Fiction: general and literary, Family life fiction

Listen to a sample

“[A] virtuosic novel…In prose that is both abrupt and tender, she skewers the hydraulics of family and the insensitivities of those who think themselves exquisitely sensitive.”

New York Times

“Delightful.”

Jerusalem Post

“Ronit Matalon…exposes the contradictions of her country.”

L'Express (Paris)

“An outrageously funny, perplexing, and perhaps universal story…[with] conspicuous consumption run amok, out-of-control weddings, marital and in-law relations, and more.”

Moment Magazine

“Narrator Deepti Gupta gives life to all the fabulous characters in this story…Gupta does a great job voicing all the characters, with their compassion and concern, as well as their disdain. This is not a clear-cut story of a bride with cold feet—or is it?”

AudioFile

“Matalon nails how families relate to each other. Her scenes are cinematic and evocative…Jessica Cohen’s translation gives Matalon’s winding sentences the easy, metrical rhythms of speech, and Matalon’s layering of language, emotion, scene, and cultural references comes through.”

Foreword Reviews (starred review)

“Reminiscent of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but Jewish, and backwards…Family secrets bubble to the surface in this deeply felt comedy.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Funny, moving and deeply real.”

Dara Horn, author of Eternal Life

“With seductive wit and light pathos, this brilliant novel makes the reader privy to the inner thoughts of a comically messy family. From there, bigger truths about personal life and the wider culture are exposed and explored.”

Bethany Ball, author of What to Do about the Solomons

“Refreshingly audacious and stirringly sophisticated…Jessica Cohen’s masterful translation further enhances the rare and intricate voice of Ronit Matalon.”

Ruby Namdar, author of The Ruined House

“A triumph, at once humorous and profound, richly imagined and deliciously grotesque…This book is a marvel, a stunning display of Matalon’s virtuosity.”