Saturday, August 19, 2023

Review: Home for the Challah Days by Jennifer Wilck

Home for the Challah Days by Jennifer Wilck
Series: Holidays, Heart and Chutzpah, Book 1
Publisher: Harlequin Special Edition 
Home for the Challah Days cover
Genre: Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9781335594228
Release Date: August 22, 2023
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Harlequin


Turning the bitterness of the past…

Into a sweet future!

When big-city advocate Sarah Abrams returns home for the High Holy Days, she’s got a lot on her mind—especially whether to marry her perfect-on-paper boyfriend. The last person she wants to encounter is Aaron Isaacson, her first love and the one who broke her heart. But after Aaron and Sarah join forces to fight an act of hate, it’s clear that their deep connection never abated. If only they could forgive one another for the past…in time for a sweet new start!

A new year brings a second chance at love for two former sweethearts in Home for the Challah Days. Jennifer Wilck brings excellent Jewish representation – religion, culture, and community – to her first Holidays, Heart and Chutzpah book.

Sarah left her hometown for DC and she’s rarely looked back. She has a successful job, a boyfriend with political ambitions, and she has turned herself into someone fit, successful, and independent. But in a Hallmark-level twist, she’s back home for the High Holy Days and returning to her small hometown brings her in contact with the boy she left behind. Aaron runs his family’s deli and even though he and Sarah broke up ten years ago, the feelings they had for each other never died. Of course, layering over that is a measure of bitterness for how things ended. Will Sarah choose her high-power life in DC and the perfect-on-paper boyfriend who wants to marry her? Or will she choose her hometown and the man she never quite got over?

I had mixed feelings about Home for the Challah Days. I liked Sarah and it was interesting to see her find herself and start to question how she let herself be molded into someone who didn’t entirely fit her. She had friends as well as Aaron that she disappeared from when she went to DC and I would have loved to see more of her reconnecting with them. Aaron, I struggled with. He’s hotheaded and angry and it bugged me how he kept comparing the Sarah he knew with the Sarah who is there now, as if one was better than the other rather than different. I never fully warmed up to Aaron and it made me hard to root for the romance. The love story leans heavily on the foundation built in the past and Wilck did a fair job of showing us said foundation. However, there was something missing for me – a romance, a spark, something of that nature – that made the romance fall a bit flat.

Home for the Challah Days is more than just the love story, however. It’s about community and Judaism and this is where Wilck’s writing shines. Aaron and Sarah are both really invested in their community and Wilck weaves this throughout the story perfectly. Even in a town as friendly as theirs, there’s still antisemitism and harsh realities of hatred to face. There’s also hope, allyship, friends, and family to counter the dark. It’s a dose of reality in an otherwise television special love story that grounds the story. So even though I had mixed feelings about Aaron and Sarah’s story, there was enough that I did really like about the book that I’m looking forward to the next Holidays, Heart and Chutzpah tale.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.



Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review Home for the Challah Days. I really appreciate your thoughtful take on the story.