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The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street: A Novel
by Susan Jane Gilman

Published: 2014-06-10
Hardcover : 512 pages
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In 1913, little Malka Treynovsky flees Russia with her family. Bedazzled by tales of gold and movie stardom, she tricks them into buying tickets for America. Yet no sooner do they land on the squalid Lower East Side of Manhattan, than Malka is crippled and abandoned in the street.

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Introduction

In 1913, little Malka Treynovsky flees Russia with her family. Bedazzled by tales of gold and movie stardom, she tricks them into buying tickets for America. Yet no sooner do they land on the squalid Lower East Side of Manhattan, than Malka is crippled and abandoned in the street.

Taken in by a tough-loving Italian ices peddler, she manages to survive through cunning and inventiveness. As she learns the secrets of his trade, she begins to shape her own destiny. She falls in love with a gorgeous, illiterate radical named Albert, and they set off across America in an ice cream truck. Slowly, she transforms herself into Lillian Dunkle, "The Ice Cream Queen" -- doyenne of an empire of ice cream franchises and a celebrated television personality.

Lillian's rise to fame and fortune spans seventy years and is inextricably linked to the course of American history itself, from Prohibition to the disco days of Studio 54. Yet Lillian Dunkle is nothing like the whimsical motherly persona she crafts for herself in the media. Conniving, profane, and irreverent, she is a supremely complex woman who prefers a good stiff drink to an ice cream cone. And when her past begins to catch up with her, everything she has spent her life building is at stake.

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Discussion Questions

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We jsut ask each member to tell us what they like or do not like about the book That leads to a lively discussion
by ruckus (see profile) 06/23/16

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Member Reviews

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  "The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street"by ruckus (see profile) 06/23/16

The consensus of our members was positive. Everyone liked the book, found it informative especially for those who are not children of the immigrants that came into the country very early 1900's. We who... (read more)

 
  "Sometimes funny sometimes sad often witty. "by bbrower (see profile) 05/10/16

Lilian's fictional story which, as it turns out weaves together bits and pieces of ice cream history from several families was a fun education in ice cream. I did find that I wanted soft serve several... (read more)

 
  "Ice Cream Queen"by arizonamom (see profile) 01/26/16

Our club had a great discussion on the main character, Lillian the Ice Cream Queen.

 
by MarLovely (see profile) 07/24/15

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