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June Book Review Wrap Up

So many books, so little time! I am an avid reader and love to share recommendations with fellow readers. My choice in books tend to vary by my mood but some of my favorites are mystery, suspense, thriller, and humor. Get my reviews direct to your inbox every Wednesday and check back here for monthly features.


This page contains affiliate links. This means for any purchases made, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.


The Book of Jeremiah

By: Julie Zuckerman

The Book of Jeremiah, a Novel in Stories, follows eight decades of the life of Jeremiah Gerstler.

I really enjoyed the concept of this book. Zuckerman lays out each milestone of Jeremiah’s life as though it were a short story, jumping from past to present and back again. The book feels like each chapter is a short story. I found the format engaging. It really held my interest.

Jeremiah Gerstler’s life really speaks to Jewish life experience in the 20th century. He is the child of immigrants. We see him as a precocious youth, coming of age, finding love, having a family, and experiencing success in his career. Similar to the biblical narrative by the same name, Gerstler’s story carries its share of hardships and challenges. But unlike it, there are also beautiful moments of happiness and joy. It’s very true to real life experience. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Caledonia

By: Sherry V. Ostroff

Anna Isaac is a fifteen year old Jewess living in 17th century Scotland. Her father is determined to see her settled before his poor health becomes worse so he tasks her angry and vindictive brother with choosing her groom. Faced with an impossible choice, Anna seeks the help of a visiting Highlander. A choice that will change her her fate and send her on an incredible journey. Enter Hanna, a modern day young woman, living in Pennsylvania. Her family followed traditions she never quite understood until an inheritance sends her on her own journey of self-discovery.

This is my first work by Sherry Ostroff and I can’t wait to read more. I was completely engrossed within the first twenty pages and couldn’t put it down. The story transitions seamlessly between past and present. There are clear and interesting parallels between Anna and Hanna. Each of these women is wonderfully complex. The connection of their stories is expertly crafted. And without any spoilers, there was a scene near the end that was so beautifully written, it moved me to tears. I highly recommend this book!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Jerusalem Stone

By: Susan Sofayov

Julie Wasserman’s world has been turned upside down. She’s lost a job she enjoyed, with the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Then her twin brother is taken from her, in a car crash. She’s faced with returning to her hometown, of Pittsburgh, and her grief-stricken father, to start over in her new normal. But with a gap of time before her new job begins, Julie finds herself impulsively flying to Thailand, a place her brother dreamed of visiting one day with a woman he fell in love with on a birthright trip, to Israel. It’s a trip that will change Julie’s life in more ways than one, after she meets her own Israeli prince charming.

Susan Sofayov has crafted an intriguing story in this book. Julie Wasserman is a complex and emotionally raw character who becomes incredibly conflicted with the introduction of her love interest, Avi. He seems to bring her back to life. But having a chance at happiness only exacerbates her survivor’s guilt and creates a deep inner conflict for her. Which is compounded even further when Avi convinces Julie to travel to Israel with him. A place her brother loved and she never wanted to visit.

Safoyov’s vivid description of Israel transported me right back to the streets of Jerusalem. I especially related to the description of Julie’s experience visiting the Kotel for the first time. The portion of the book set in Israel was my favorite. I wasn’t able to put this book down from the second Julie and Avi’s plane touched down. The unexpected twist at the end (no spoilers) was well-timed and very moving. This one belongs on your book club’s reading list!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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The Lucky One

By: Sherry V. Ostroff

In order to do this story justice, I’m going to use the summary from the back cover to avoid any errors in the details:

Ita was born in the wrong place at the wrong time. The place was the former Pale of Settlement which was a large swath of land in western Russia where Jews were forced to live for centuries. The year was 1918 and Russia was in the midst of two revolutions. The first occurred with the abdication of the last tsar of Russia culminating in his execution. The second was the bloody civil war that ensued for control of the country. Ita was caught in the middle during this time of great political and social upheaval. Wave after wave of murderous anti-Jewish riots, orpogroms, descended upon Jewish shtetls, and the only chance for her survival was to escape. Escape was not easy. In fact, it could be deadly. In Ita’s own words, along with her daughter’s (Sherry V. Ostroff) historical and cultural background information, she describes her privileged life in Russia, the bloody pogroms, and her harrowing escape. Ita faces each roadblock with resolve, including a new country that doesn’t want her, and proves why she is, indeed, the lucky one.

This is the second work I’ve read by Sherry V. Ostroff and want an incredible story of overcoming incredibly difficult odds. Sherry’s mother, Ita, tells her story of growing up in very dangerous circumstances in Russia where the political climate was incredibly unfriendly to the Jewish population, to say the least. She and her family were very fortunate to be able to escape to Romania for a time and ultimately to the United States. Interspersed between her mother’s memories, Ostroff provides a very detailed history of the time her mother was living in. It’s an interesting contrast to read Ita’s story of her understanding of the world around her, through the eyes of an innocent young child versus the reality of the time. Stories like Ita’s are so important and need to be told. I applaud Ostroff for preserver her mother’s legacy in this work.

Never again.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

More Titles for Your TBR Pile

March Book Reviews

So many books, so little time! I am an avid reader and love to share recommendations with fellow readers. My choice in books tend to vary by my mood but some of my favorites are mystery, suspense, thriller, and humor. Get my reviews direct to your inbox every Wednesday and check back here for monthly […]

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April Book Reviews

So many books, so little time! I am an avid reader and love to share recommendations with fellow readers. My choice in books tend to vary by my mood but some of my favorites are mystery, suspense, thriller, and humor. Get my reviews direct to your inbox every Wednesday and check back here for monthly […]

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May Book Reviews

So many books, so little time! I am an avid reader and love to share recommendations with fellow readers. My choice in books tend to vary by my mood but some of my favorites are mystery, suspense, thriller, and humor. Get my reviews direct to your inbox every Wednesday and check back here for monthly […]

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10 Books for Your Summer Reading List

“Summertime and the living is easy” Trying to figure out your summer reading list for time spent by the pool? I’ve put together a list of 10 of my favorite reads to help get you started. These are in no particular order and all come from my Ultimate Reading List. Need more suggestions? New subscribers […]

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Cup of Tea?

Need something warm and comforting to sip one while you’re reading? Visit my friends at Art of Tea!

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Short Story Contest

Your Assignment

Hurry, the contest deadline closes tonight! Use the image below as your writing prompt to craft a short story. If selected, your story will be featured in future posts, during the month of July.

Contest Rules

Stories are to be 1,500 to 3,000 words. All genres welcome. Please keep it ‘R’ rated or less. No discriminatory themes, explicit violence, or explicit sexual content.

Selected entries will be featured here during the month of July.

You retain exclusive rights to your work and are free to republish. Republished stories are welcome.

This contest is not affiliated with any other organization other than this site.

To enter, complete the Entry Form below. Please include a brief bio which may include social media handles and the titles of any published works you would like to promote.

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New subscribers receive a free download of my Ultimate Reading List!

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Deadline for Entry:

Entries must be submitted by 11:59pm cdt, Tuesday June 30th, 2020.

2020-06-30T23:59:00

  days

  hours  minutes  seconds

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Deadline to Enter

Entry Form

Short code:

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Read a Past Feature

The Unexpected Vacation

By: John Scott

Tom and Kathy had met their freshman year of high school. Tom was brilliant beyond his years and was often recognized for it but didn’t want to be known as merely a scholastic. He had a razor-sharp wit and a charming demeanor that girls seemed to be drawn to. It was only the spark in his blue eyes that could give any hint if he was being serious or putting you on. Kathy was bright but had limited use for school, however she had a radiant smile and distinct high pitched laugh that set her apart.

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Together they made a remarkable pair. Tom came from privilege, raised in a conservative, white collar home in one of the affluent suburbs. The expectations that his parents had for his life were clear from his earliest memories, but that would need to wait. This was time to have fun and all that responsibility could find its place in the future. Kathy grew up in the city. Her dad was a custodian but he was a proud man and lit up when he saw his beautiful girl. Tom had grown his hair out and both he and Kathy had matching shoulder length blonde hair all in ringlets. From the back you couldn’t tell them apart, especially if they were on a bus together.  Tom was always cutting up and regularly invented ways to make Kathy laugh. They gave no thought to the different stations of society they came from but lived in the moment. You never knew what lengths they would go to be funny and were the life of every party… (continue reading)

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New subscribers receive a free download of my Ultimate Reading List!

Book Review: The Lucky One

By: Sherry V. Ostroff

In order to do this story justice, I’m going to use the summary from the back cover to avoid any errors in the details:

Ita was born in the wrong place at the wrong time. The place was the former Pale of Settlement which was a large swath of land in western Russia where Jews were forced to live for centuries. The year was 1918 and Russia was in the midst of two revolutions. The first occurred with the abdication of the last tsar of Russia culminating in his execution. The second was the bloody civil war that ensued for control of the country. Ita was caught in the middle during this time of great political and social upheaval. Wave after wave of murderous anti-Jewish riots, or pogroms, descended upon Jewish shtetls, and the only chance for her survival was to escape. Escape was not easy. In fact, it could be deadly. In Ita’s own words, along with her daughter’s (Sherry V. Ostroff) historical and cultural background information, she describes her privileged life in Russia, the bloody pogroms, and her harrowing escape. Ita faces each roadblock with resolve, including a new country that doesn’t want her, and proves why she is, indeed, the lucky one.

This is the second work I’ve read by Sherry V. Ostroff and want an incredible story of overcoming incredibly difficult odds. Sherry’s mother, Ita, tells her story of growing up in very dangerous circumstances in Russia where the political climate was incredibly unfriendly to the Jewish population, to say the least. She and her family were very fortunate to be able to escape to Romania for a time and ultimately to the United States. Interspersed between her mother’s memories, Ostroff provides a very detailed history of the time her mother was living in. It’s an interesting contrast to read Ita’s story of her understanding of the world around her, through the eyes of an innocent young child versus the reality of the time. Stories like Ita’s are so important and need to be told. I applaud Ostroff for preserver her mother’s legacy in this work.

Never again.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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New subscribers receive a free download of my Ultimate Reading List!

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More by This Author:

Book Review: Caledonia

By: Sherry V. Ostroff Anna Isaac is a fifteen year old Jewess living in 17th century Scotland. Her father is determined to see her settled before his poor health becomes worse so he tasks her angry and vindictive brother with choosing her groom. Faced with an impossible choice, Anna seeks the help of a visiting […]

Cup of Tea?

Need a nice cup of something warm to enjoy while you’re reading? Visit my friends at Art of Tea. Use the link below to find their Tea for Two gift set.

Tea For Two Gift Set Tea Gifts by Art of Tea

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Add to Your Reading List:

March Book Reviews

So many books, so little time! I am an avid reader and love to share recommendations with fellow readers. My choice in books tend to vary by my mood but some of my favorites are mystery, suspense, thriller, and humor. Get my reviews direct to your inbox every Wednesday and check back here for monthly […]

April Book Reviews

So many books, so little time! I am an avid reader and love to share recommendations with fellow readers. My choice in books tend to vary by my mood but some of my favorites are mystery, suspense, thriller, and humor. Get my reviews direct to your inbox every Wednesday and check back here for monthly […]

May Book Reviews

So many books, so little time! I am an avid reader and love to share recommendations with fellow readers. My choice in books tend to vary by my mood but some of my favorites are mystery, suspense, thriller, and humor. Get my reviews direct to your inbox every Wednesday and check back here for monthly […]

10 Books for Your Summer Reading List

“Summertime and the living is easy” Trying to figure out your summer reading list for time spent by the pool? I’ve put together a list of 10 of my favorite reads to help get you started. These are in no particular order and all come from my Ultimate Reading List. Need more suggestions? New subscribers […]

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Become a Subscriber

New subscribers receive a free download of my Ultimate Reading List!

This page contains affiliate links. This means for any purchase made, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Short Story Contest

Your Assignment

Only one more week to enter! Use the image below as your writing prompt to craft a short story. If selected, your story will be featured in future posts, during the month of July.

Contest Rules

Stories are to be 1,500 to 3,000 words. All genres welcome. Please keep it ‘R’ rated or less. No discriminatory themes, explicit violence, or explicit sexual content.

Selected entries will be featured here during the month of July.

You retain exclusive rights to your work and are free to republish. Republished stories are welcome.

This contest is not affiliated with any other organization other than this site.

To enter, complete the Entry Form below. Please include a brief bio which may include social media handles and the titles of any published works you would like to promote.

Become a Subscriber

New subscribers receive a free download of my Ultimate Reading List!

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Deadline for Entry:

Entries must be submitted by 11:59pm cdt, Tuesday June 30th, 2020.

2020-06-30T23:59:00

  days

  hours  minutes  seconds

until

Deadline to Enter

Entry Form

Short code:

File Upload

Read a Past Feature

The Unexpected Vacation

By: John Scott

Tom and Kathy had met their freshman year of high school. Tom was brilliant beyond his years and was often recognized for it but didn’t want to be known as merely a scholastic. He had a razor-sharp wit and a charming demeanor that girls seemed to be drawn to. It was only the spark in his blue eyes that could give any hint if he was being serious or putting you on. Kathy was bright but had limited use for school, however she had a radiant smile and distinct high pitched laugh that set her apart.

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Together they made a remarkable pair. Tom came from privilege, raised in a conservative, white collar home in one of the affluent suburbs. The expectations that his parents had for his life were clear from his earliest memories, but that would need to wait. This was time to have fun and all that responsibility could find its place in the future. Kathy grew up in the city. Her dad was a custodian but he was a proud man and lit up when he saw his beautiful girl. Tom had grown his hair out and both he and Kathy had matching shoulder length blonde hair all in ringlets. From the back you couldn’t tell them apart, especially if they were on a bus together.  Tom was always cutting up and regularly invented ways to make Kathy laugh. They gave no thought to the different stations of society they came from but lived in the moment. You never knew what lengths they would go to be funny and were the life of every party… (continue reading)

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Become a Subscriber

New subscribers receive a free download of my Ultimate Reading List!

10 Books for Your Summer Reading List

“Summertime and the living is easy”

Trying to figure out your summer reading list for time spent by the pool? I’ve put together a list of 10 of my favorite reads to help get you started. These are in no particular order and all come from my Ultimate Reading List. Need more suggestions? New subscribers receive a free download of my Ultimate Reading List, 100 of my favorite titles. Get your copy today!


This page contains affiliate links. This means for any purchase made, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.


Become a Subscriber

New subscribers receive a free download of my Ultimate Reading List!

From the Back Cover: In the summer of 1953, two eleven-year-old boys—best friends—are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy’s mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn’t believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God’s instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary.

From the Back Cover: The orphaned Jane Eyre suffers under cruel guardians, a harsh employer and a rigid social order. But her plain appearance belies her indomitable spirit, sharp wit and great courage. When she goes to Thornfield Hall to work as a governess for the mysterious Mr Rochester the stage is set for one of literature’s great romances.

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From the Back Cover: In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.

From the Back Cover: Addie is The Boston Girl, the spirited daughter of an immigrant Jewish family, born in 1900 to parents who were unprepared for America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End of Boston, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie’s intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents can’t imagine—a world of short skirts, movies, celebrity culture, and new opportunities for women. Addie wants to finish high school and dreams of going to college. She wants a career and to find true love. From the one-room tenement apartment she shared with her parents and two sisters, to the library group for girls she joins at a neighborhood settlement house, to her first, disastrous love affair, to finding the love of her life, eighty-five-year-old Addie recounts her adventures with humor and compassion for the naïve girl she once was.

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From the Back Cover: At Columbia University, Thomas “Babe” Levy, a postgrad history student and aspiring marathon runner, is working to clear his late father’s name after the scandal of his suicide, triggered by the McCarthy hearings and accusations of Communist affiliations.

In Paraguay, Dr. Christian Szell, former Nazi dentist and protégé of Josef Mengele, has been in exile for decades. Infamous as the “White Angel of Auschwitz,” he’s leaving his South American sanctuary to smuggle a fortune in gems out of New York City.

Meanwhile, in London’s Kensington Gardens, an international assassin known only as Scylla has completed a hit. A man with too many secrets and twice as many enemies, Scylla has become a target himself, with only one place left to turn.

Then, when Babe’s revered older brother, Doc, pays him a fateful and unexpected visit, it sets in motion a chain of events plunging Babe into a paranoid nightmare of family betrayal, international conspiracy, and the dark crimes of history. Now, the marathon man is running for his life, and closer to answering a single cryptic and terrifying question: “Is it safe?”

From the Back Cover: Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects—the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidently left behind—and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life’s mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost.

Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony’s lost things. But when the lonely woman moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor’s quirky daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the rugged gardener. As the dark cloud engulfing her lifts, Laura, accompanied by her new companions, sets out to realize Anthony’s last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.

Long ago, Eunice found a trinket on the London pavement and kept it through the years. Now, with her own end drawing near, she has lost something precious—a tragic twist of fate that forces her to break a promise she once made.

As the Keeper of Lost Objects, Laura holds the key to Anthony and Eunice’s redemption. But can she unlock the past and make the connections that will lay their spirits to rest?

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From the Back Cover: In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lou works tirelessly to build her beloved yet struggling French restaurant, Luella’s, into a success. She cheerfully balances her demanding business and even more demanding fiancé…until the morning she discovers him in the buff—with an intern.

Witty yet gruff British transplant Al is keeping himself employed and entertained by writing scathing reviews of local restaurants in the Milwaukee newspaper under a pseudonym. When an anonymous tip sends him to Luella’s, little does he know he’s arrived on the worst day of the chef’s life. The review practically writes itself: underdone fish, scorched sauce, distracted service—he unleashes his worst.

The day that Al’s mean-spirited review of Luella’s runs, the two cross paths in a pub: Lou drowning her sorrows, and Al celebrating his latest publication. As they chat, Al playfully challenges Lou to show him the best of Milwaukee and she’s game—but only if they never discuss work, which Al readily agrees to. As they explore the city’s local delicacies and their mutual attraction, Lou’s restaurant faces closure, while Al’s column gains popularity. It’s only a matter of time before the two fall in love…but when the truth comes out, can Lou overlook the past to chase her future?

From the Back Cover: During a picnic at her family’s farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson witnesses a shocking crime, a crime that challenges everything she knows about her adored mother, Dorothy. Now, fifty years later, Laurel and her sisters are meeting at the farm to celebrate Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday. Realizing that this is her last chance to discover the truth about that long-ago day, Laurel searches for answers that can only be found in Dorothy’s past. Clue by clue, she traces a secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds thrown together in war-torn London—Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy—whose lives are forever after entwined. A gripping story of deception and passion, The Secret Keeper will keep you enthralled to the last page.

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From the Back Cover: WHAT IF YOU GOOGLED YOURSELF AND DISCOVERED SOMETHING SHOCKING?

In this gripping psychological thriller, with twists and turns until the very last page, a suburban mom Googles herself on a lark and discovers the shocking details of a past she doesn’t remember.

A global bestselling suspense thriller in which the privileged suburban moms of Farhaven amuse themselves by Googling everyone in town, digging up dirt to fuel thorny gossip. Caroline Thompson, devoted mother of two, sticks to the moral high ground and attempts to avoid these women. She’s relieved to hear her name appears only three times, citing her philanthropy. Despite being grateful that she has nothing to hide, a delayed pang of insecurity prods Caroline to Google her maiden name—which none of the others know.

The hits cascade like a tsunami. Caroline’s terrified by what she reads. An obituary for her sister, JD? That’s absurd. With every click, the revelations grow more alarming. They can’t be right. She’d know. Caroline is hurled into a state of paranoia—upending her blissful family life—desperate to prove these allegations false before someone discovers they’re true.

The disturbing underpinnings of The Memory Box expose a story of deceit, misconceptions, and an obsession for control. With its twists, taut pacing, and psychological tenor, Natiello’s page turning suspense cautions: Be careful what you search for.

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family’s apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

Paris, May 2002: On Vel’ d’Hiv’s 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France’s past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl’s ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d’Hiv’, to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah’s past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.

Tatiana de Rosnay offers us a brilliantly subtle, compelling portrait of France under occupation and reveals the taboos and silence that surround this painful episode.

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Book Review Jerusalem Stone

By: Susan Sofayov

Julie Wasserman’s world has been turned upside down. She’s lost a job she enjoyed, with the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Then her twin brother is taken from her, in a car crash. She’s faced with returning to her hometown, of Pittsburgh, and her grief-stricken father, to start over in her new normal. But with a gap of time before her new job begins, Julie finds herself impulsively flying to Thailand, a place her brother dreamed of visiting one day with a woman he fell in love with on a birthright trip, to Israel. It’s a trip that will change Julie’s life in more ways than one, after she meets her own Israeli prince charming.

Susan Sofayov has crafted an intriguing story in this book. Julie Wasserman is a complex and emotionally raw character who becomes incredibly conflicted with the introduction of her love interest, Avi. He seems to bring her back to life. But having a chance at happiness only exacerbates her survivor’s guilt and creates a deep inner conflict for her. Which is compounded even further when Avi convinces Julie to travel to Israel with him. A place her brother loved and she never wanted to visit.

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Safoyov’s vivid description of Israel transported me right back to the streets of Jerusalem. I especially related to the description of Julie’s experience visiting the Kotel for the first time. The portion of the book set in Israel was my favorite. I wasn’t able to put this book down from the second Julie and Avi’s plane touched down. The unexpected twist at the end (no spoilers) was well-timed and very moving. This one belongs on your book club’s reading list!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Become a Subscriber

New subscribers receive a free download of my Ultimate Reading List!

More Reviews to Check Out:

Book Review: Caledonia

By: Sherry V. Ostroff Anna Isaac is a fifteen year old Jewess living in 17th century Scotland. Her father is determined to see her settled before his poor health becomes worse so he tasks her angry and vindictive brother with choosing her groom. Faced with an impossible choice, Anna seeks the help of a visiting […]

Book Review: The Book of Jeremiah

By: Julie Zuckerman The Book of Jeremiah, a Novel in Stories, follows eight decades of the life of Jeremiah Gerstler. I really enjoyed the concept of this book. Zuckerman lays out each milestone of Jeremiah’s life as though it were a short story, jumping from past to present and back again. The book feels like […]

Book Review – Destiny by Design: Leah’s Journey

By Mirta Ines Trupp Destiny by Design: Leah’s Journey is set in Imperial Russia, in the late 19th Century. Leah Abramovitz is the youngest of twelve children, coming of age in Odessa. Her upper class merchant family is suddenly faced with a challenging political climate which threatens their livelihood. Despite her opposition to the decision, […]


This page contains affiliate links. This means for any purchase made, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Short Story Contest

Your Assignment

It’s time for the June Short Story Contest! Use the image below as your writing prompt to craft a short story. If selected, your story will be featured in future posts, during the month of July.

Contest Rules

Stories are to be 1,500 to 3,000 words. All genres welcome. Please keep it ‘R’ rated or less. No discriminatory themes, explicit violence, or explicit sexual content.

Selected entries will be featured here during the month of July.

You retain exclusive rights to your work and are free to republish. Republished stories are welcome.

This contest is not affiliated with any other organization other than this site.

To enter, complete the Entry Form below. Please include a brief bio which may include social media handles and the titles of any published works you would like to promote.

Become a Subscriber

New subscribers receive a free download of my Ultimate Reading List!

Advertisements
Deadline for Entry:

Entries must be submitted by 11:59pm cdt, Tuesday June 30th, 2020.

2020-06-30T23:59:00

  days

  hours  minutes  seconds

until

Deadline to Enter

Entry Form

Short code:

File Upload

Read a Past Feature

The Unexpected Vacation

By: John Scott

Tom and Kathy had met their freshman year of high school. Tom was brilliant beyond his years and was often recognized for it but didn’t want to be known as merely a scholastic. He had a razor-sharp wit and a charming demeanor that girls seemed to be drawn to. It was only the spark in his blue eyes that could give any hint if he was being serious or putting you on. Kathy was bright but had limited use for school, however she had a radiant smile and distinct high pitched laugh that set her apart.

Advertisements

Together they made a remarkable pair. Tom came from privilege, raised in a conservative, white collar home in one of the affluent suburbs. The expectations that his parents had for his life were clear from his earliest memories, but that would need to wait. This was time to have fun and all that responsibility could find its place in the future. Kathy grew up in the city. Her dad was a custodian but he was a proud man and lit up when he saw his beautiful girl. Tom had grown his hair out and both he and Kathy had matching shoulder length blonde hair all in ringlets. From the back you couldn’t tell them apart, especially if they were on a bus together.  Tom was always cutting up and regularly invented ways to make Kathy laugh. They gave no thought to the different stations of society they came from but lived in the moment. You never knew what lengths they would go to be funny and were the life of every party… (continue reading)

Advertisements

Become a Subscriber

New subscribers receive a free download of my Ultimate Reading List!

Book Review: Caledonia

By: Sherry V. Ostroff

Anna Isaac is a fifteen year old Jewess living in 17th century Scotland. Her father is determined to see her settled before his poor health becomes worse so he tasks her angry and vindictive brother with choosing her groom. Faced with an impossible choice, Anna seeks the help of a visiting Highlander. A choice that will changer her fate and send her on an incredible journey. Enter Hanna, a modern day young woman, living in Pennsylvania. Her family followed traditions she never quite understood until an inheritance sends her on her own journey of self-discovery.

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This is my first work by Sherry Ostroff and I can’t wait to read more. I was completely engrossed within the first twenty pages and couldn’t put it down. The story transitions seamlessly between past and present. There are clear and interesting parallels between Anna and Hanna. Each of these women is wonderfully complex. The connection of their stories is expertly crafted. And without any spoilers, there was a scene near the end that was so beautifully written, it moved me to tears. I highly recommend this book!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Book Review: The Lucky One

By: Sherry V. Ostroff In order to do this story justice, I’m going to use the summary from the back cover to avoid any errors in the details: Ita was born in the wrong place at the wrong time. The place was the former Pale of Settlement which was a large swath of land in […]

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June Book Review Wrap Up

So many books, so little time! I am an avid reader and love to share recommendations with fellow readers. My choice in books tend to vary by my mood but some of my favorites are mystery, suspense, thriller, and humor. Get my reviews direct to your inbox every Wednesday and check back here for monthly […]

May Book Reviews

So many books, so little time! I am an avid reader and love to share recommendations with fellow readers. My choice in books tend to vary by my mood but some of my favorites are mystery, suspense, thriller, and humor. Get my reviews direct to your inbox every Wednesday and check back here for monthly […]

April Book Reviews

So many books, so little time! I am an avid reader and love to share recommendations with fellow readers. My choice in books tend to vary by my mood but some of my favorites are mystery, suspense, thriller, and humor. Get my reviews direct to your inbox every Wednesday and check back here for monthly […]

March Book Reviews

So many books, so little time! I am an avid reader and love to share recommendations with fellow readers. My choice in books tend to vary by my mood but some of my favorites are mystery, suspense, thriller, and humor. Get my reviews direct to your inbox every Wednesday and check back here for monthly […]

Short Story Contest

Your Assignment

It’s time for the June Short Story Contest! Use the image below as your writing prompt to craft a short story. If selected, your story will be featured in future posts, during the month of July.

Contest Rules

Stories are to be 1,500 to 3,000 words. All genres welcome. Please keep it ‘R’ rated or less. No discriminatory themes, explicit violence, or explicit sexual content.

Selected entries will be featured here during the month of July.

You retain exclusive rights to your work and are free to republish. Republished stories are welcome.

This contest is not affiliated with any other organization other than this site.

To enter, complete the Entry Form below. Please include a brief bio which may include social media handles and the titles of any published works you would like to promote.

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Deadline for Entry:

Entries must be submitted by 11:59pm cdt, Tuesday June 30th, 2020.

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Read a Past Feature

The Unexpected Vacation

By: John Scott

Tom and Kathy had met their freshman year of high school. Tom was brilliant beyond his years and was often recognized for it but didn’t want to be known as merely a scholastic. He had a razor-sharp wit and a charming demeanor that girls seemed to be drawn to. It was only the spark in his blue eyes that could give any hint if he was being serious or putting you on. Kathy was bright but had limited use for school, however she had a radiant smile and distinct high pitched laugh that set her apart.

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Together they made a remarkable pair. Tom came from privilege, raised in a conservative, white collar home in one of the affluent suburbs. The expectations that his parents had for his life were clear from his earliest memories, but that would need to wait. This was time to have fun and all that responsibility could find its place in the future. Kathy grew up in the city. Her dad was a custodian but he was a proud man and lit up when he saw his beautiful girl. Tom had grown his hair out and both he and Kathy had matching shoulder length blonde hair all in ringlets. From the back you couldn’t tell them apart, especially if they were on a bus together.  Tom was always cutting up and regularly invented ways to make Kathy laugh. They gave no thought to the different stations of society they came from but lived in the moment. You never knew what lengths they would go to be funny and were the life of every party… (continue reading)

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Book Review: The Book of Jeremiah

By: Julie Zuckerman

The Book of Jeremiah, a Novel in Stories, follows eight decades of the life of Jeremiah Gerstler.

I really enjoyed the concept of this book. Zuckerman lays out each milestone of Jeremiah’s life as though it were a short story, jumping from past to present and back again. The book feels like each chapter is a short story. I found the format engaging. It really held my interest.

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Jeremiah Gerstler’s life really speaks to Jewish life experience in the 20th century. He is the child of immigrants. We see him as a precocious youth, coming of age, finding love, having a family, and experiencing success in his career. Similar to the biblical narrative by the same name, Gerstler’s story carries its share of hardships and challenges. But unlike it, there are also beautiful moments of happiness and joy. It’s very true to real life experience.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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New subscribers receive a free download of my Ultimate Reading List!


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