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Dough: A Memoir by Mort Zachter

Dough: A Memoir

by Mort Zachter

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Very interesting memoir by the nephew of uncles who ran a day old bread store in NYC for decades. His mother (their sister) also worked in the store. Everyone lived in lower middle class apartments that just kept deteriorating through the years. Mort, the nephew, accidentally discovers that his uncles had millions of dollars in brokerage accounts and lived like hoarders. Strange, interesting tale as Mort makes sense of it all, becomes the litigator upon the deaths of his uncles and is the recipient of the three brokerage accounts. ( )
  bogopea | May 11, 2013 |
Mort thought his family was poor, and lo, they turned out to be rich! Why would a family live this way? And what will happen next? I enjoyed finding out. ( )
  iBeth | Mar 27, 2009 |
I loved this little book. It was a sweet story about a family that loved each other simply because (and despite of!) who they were.
Growing up Mort Zachter's life was a struggle and he was under the impression the whole family was struggling . . . well they were, but, simply by choice. There were millions of dollars surrounding the family, they were just never used. When Mort found out about the money there was a strong sense of disbelief and some resentment, but the funny (and oftentimes crazy) memories of his family can't be changed, so Mort looks ahead to the future and what he can give his children, rather than harping on the past.
The best gifts, it seems, are the ones you don't expect and can't always understand. ( )
  nanmb | Aug 13, 2008 |
Like a giant wave that heaves, towers, then crashes, the structure of notable stories often build to a revelatory moment that crashes onto the heads of its characters and shatters their world. When Mort Zachter learns that his two hard-working uncles, who lived a life of near-poverty, were millionaires at their deaths, the revelation leaves him as stunned as Luke when he learns that Darth Vader is his father. Zachter’s memoir, Dough, opens just as this revelatory wave crashes. The memoir then unfolds in snapshots of contrast that illustrate the world Zachter knew before versus after the revelation. Because of this structure, the reader never experiences the full impact of Zachter’s shock. But after seeing, among other things, how Zachter’s mother works in her brothers’ bakery every Saturday of her adult life without pay, how his father knew of his uncles’ secret millions, and how Zachter borrows money for the adoption of his children while his uncles offer no financial assistance, we grow to appreciate Zachter’s shock. Dough’s chapters shift back and forth through time so that in one chapter it’s the 1980’s and we are in the uncles’ bakery during a robbery, then in the next chapter it’s 1995 and we are with Zachter as he cleans out his uncles’ apartment after their deaths, and then in the next chapter we are back to the 1980’s and meeting Zachter’s future wife. Ultimately, Dough reads like a loaf roughly formed, but at its center, it is a delicious tale of a family -- its quirks, its secrets and its delights. ( )
  kvanuska | Jul 19, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061663417, Paperback)

Mort Zachter's childhood revolved around a small, struggling shop on Manhattan's Lower East Side that sold bread and pastries. His was a classic story—a close-knit, hard-working family struggling to make it in America.

Only they were rich. Very rich.

At age thirty-six, after struggling to work his way though night school, Zachter discovered that his bachelor uncles, who ran the shop, had amassed millions of dollars in stocks and bonds. As he starts to clean out their apartment, Zachter discovers clues to their hidden lives that raise more questions than they answer. And in the end, he comes to realize that although he may not understand his family—and maybe never will—forgiveness and acceptance are what matter most.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:18 -0400)

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