Linda J. Goldberg's HERE I AM is a marvelous book of short stories focusing on family interactions and fascinating characters.

Linda who grew up in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, then largely Jewish, sets many of the stories in the Blue Hill Avenue section. However, you do not have to be Jewish or from the area to enjoy reading these stories. Anyone who grew up in a family anywhere will recognize common patterns. Among these are how boys and girls are treated differently by parents.

One of Linda's stories, MAZEL, tells about a Russian grandmother whose forced marriage made the granddaughter invent a life story of the Grandmother she had never met.

A great feature of the book is many vintage portraits of people from Dorchester. Looking at the pictures shows us how much hair and clothing styles have changed and make us remember our own ancestors and families of origin.

As a writer myself, I valued greatly the clear but colorful style in which the stories were written. I also enjoyed the humor in them which was often subtle and clever. The poignant parts brought me to some therapeutic tears at our common life experiences in disappointments.