It takes place in one of those little shops I always see in New York, half-hidden on the ground floor, this one under a Boro Park brownstone. Women from this Orthodox Jewish neighborhood all visit Sima for bra fittings and conversation. Mostly the latter.
Sima's life consists of running her shop and tending to Lev, her husband of many years, until a gorgeous young Israeli woman named Timna starts working as a seamstress in the shop.
Timna soon becomes, at least in Sima's mind, the daughter she couldn't have of her own. And also a bit of an obsession. Timna provides a glimpse into the self Sima never was, but longed to be: sexy, carefree, with a lifetime of possibilities ahead of her. Sima is a deeply flawed and nuanced character (she reminded me a little of Olive in Olive Kitteridge) but I connected with her and found her interesting (much more so than pretty Timna, actually.)
Have you ever had a bra fitting? It's personal, to say the least. Much bare flesh is involved. So I can understand how, along with stripping off physical clothes, it's an easy atmosphere to share intimate feelings. Anyway, if you are in to literary women's fiction at all, pick this one up.