Evie Troy, an impulsive and funny young Jewish woman, has a tendency to overcomplicate things. And that can get her into trouble. When her dying friend Jean-Gabriel, a successful and controversial francophone writer, cons her into carrying out his last wish, delivering a monetary mea-culpa to his ex-wife Amélie, Evie decides she knows better. In a fit of misguided generosity, she appropriates his cash to help set herself up as a surrogate mother on behalf of the barren Amélie, a plan she keeps so secret not even Amélie has an inkling a baby is headed her way. Evie's pregnancy scheme pops so many holes at the seams that she's forced to enlist the aid of her estranged mother Marilyn. Back when she was Evie's age Marilyn lit out on the Abortion Caravan, a cross-Canada road trip whose final blow-out demonstration in Ottawa brought the work of Parliament crashing to a feminist halt. Marilyn can't fathom her daughter's daft determination to saddle up her womb on spec, but she agrees to come on board and the two of them head-butt their way through every step of Evie's program, from arm-twisting Mr. Right into coughing up his sperm to staging the flimflam that will relay the newborn to the oblivious Amélie. But will Amélie accept the baby they're offering up gift-wrapped? Played out against the backdrop of the fight for women's rights in Canada, The Village Idiot's Buffet is the boisterous tale of a mother and daughter at odds, struggling to reconnect across a reproductive divide.
"Evie, the Baby and the Wife kept me spellbound as the madcap plot unfolds. Like a modern day Shakespearean romp, this novel gallops to its conclusion with intricate twists and turns. Suspend your disbelief (and your matzah balls) and immerse yourself into the intelligent prose, peppered with Jewish expressions. This novel, set in Montreal, is part feminist discourse, a mother daughter story, a love story, a tale of redemption. Underlying the comedy and intrigue are issues such as abortion, the ethics of publishing writing drawn from others' lives, generational divide, and more. With heart and humour, Phyllis Rudin reminds us of how those we love both surprise as well as disappoint us, and that injustice can inspire sacrifice."--Renee Norman, author of True Confessions, winner of the Canadian Jewish Book Award for Poetry, as well as of Backhand Through the Mother and Martha in the Mirror"This novel, masterfully written, highlights the relationship between a feminist mother and a modern daughter. With the neurotics of a Jewish mother, the rejection of religion, the anti-Shabbos gatherings of the younger generation--with a full house on Friday night and a vegan pot luck--and a full repertoire of Yiddish expressions, you can't help but laugh out loud. The plot is woven in Montreal where we meet Marilyn, mother of Evie, who participated in her youth on the Abortion Caravan, Canada's first national feminist protest. Estranged from her mom, Evie will reconnect with her again when she decides to have a surrogate baby. This baby will be a present to the barren Amélie, the ex-wife of a friend, but she is the last to know that a baby is coming her way. The book could have benefited from a glossary on the Yiddish expressions, but even if some readers don't get some of the Yiddish lingo, a good laugh is still guaranteed. A funny, feel good read about fighting for your rights and being a mentsch. Recommended for all community and synagogues libraries. Evie, the Baby and the Wife kept me spellbound as the madcap plot unfolds." --Sonia Smith, Association of Jewish Library Reviews