October 20, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition
There is much to recommend this book, the story is interesting, the characters are believable, the action is relatively fast paced. There are several insightful moments and passages scattered throughout. Readers who enjoy period, or historical, fiction should enjoy this author’s first effort at writing a fictional work.
The narrative begins aboard one of the many transatlantic passenger ships plying the Atlantic with immigrants heading to the ‘promised land’ that they believe America to be. This is the period just prior to WWI. Pincus, the protagonist, has essentially abandoned his whole family and livelihood in an effort to escape the persecution and pogroms of his ancestral homeland in southeastern Poland. Though a thoroughly meek fellow he has screwed up his courage to make the voyage with every intention of establishing a cobbler’s shop in the new world and, by the end of his first year, saving enough money to send for his pregnant wife and young children. For various reasons, and because of various people he will meet, his plan will not play out as he expects.
While Pincus can be regarded as the main character there are a host of other interesting and impactful personalities. In fact, at times Pincus himself seems to become less the focus than some other supporting characters. This makes for a more interesting story and allows the reader a broader perspective on the period - and contrasting personalities.
There is also an element of mysticism, especially toward the end of the story.
The final part of the narrative is somewhat anti-climatic. It seems a bit rushed and is not as compelling as some other parts of the book. Having said that, the author does wrap up the various elements of the story on an up beat.
The verdict; a worthy effort, a good read.