Shattered Illusions by Leigh Hershkovich

A mystery, a thriller. Murder, intrigue, humanity, family, life.

Exactly how many times could I exclaim “wow!”

I just finished reading the debut novel by a young Orthodox Jewish woman who went against the expected to deliver something to the world totally unexpected and unyielding in its grip upon me, upon you, the reader, the silent, or not-so-silent witness to events that unfolded one imaginary summer in Louisiana.

I briefly introduced you to this young author in a previous post, something I rarely do while reading a book.  My enthusiasm for her continues. In the short time span of a hot, humid, and human summer, she has crafted emotional ties to these characters who are believable, honest, someone we know.  We step inside their minds and experience their soul.  It is is a breathless and breathtaking tale.

Four lives, six, seven, eight, exactly how many lives were affected by the events that took place that fateful night?  It was and is like a snowball effect melting through the muggy summer heat of the Bayou.  What in the world happened and how did he know it was going to happen?  And how many twists, turns, and subplots?

Wow, again, wow!  This novel by Leigh Hershkovich is at once poetic in the prose and prophetic in the delivery of each person’s story, each one equally a protagonist.  It was hard to root for one over the other, each expertly presented with as full a story line as we could encounter.

I am still sitting here, feeling like I just witnessed something so dramatic that is still unfolding somewhere, much like the after effects of a news report that reaches me in the Midwest but Is still lived out down South.

Finding myself wondering what happened to the characters left behind, secretly wanting her to continue to wait on tradition and venture more into this talent she has exposed to the world.  What a talent and what a contribution. 

Tasteful, deliberate, and mature beyond her young years, this book has captured hearts around the world.  

Mystery lovers, drama lovers, fiction lovers, even those who look for ethnic or cultural writing will be welcomed at the table set before us in the writing of this young author.
She has truly given vision and opened doors for other young writers who want the courage to put what is expected of them aside and reach for this treasure, this gift, that only G-d himself commands to be exposed to the sunlight reaching through the swamp.  What she has given is filling, thick and black like chickory coffee and eye-closing sensual like those beignets, this is a well-written, well-researched, completely believable, intriguing story.

This author's debut novel does not dissapoint and I am hoping she is preparing to write her second novel.  Her voice is a welcome contribution to the world of literary works.

Leigh Hershkovich…masel tov!


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