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Midwest Book Review

Updated: Feb 20, 2019

A Cobbler's Tale Neil Perry Gordon Independently Published 9781732667709, $12.99, PB, 334pp,

Synopsis: In 1910, Pincus Potasznik, a Jewish cobbler, left his pregnant wife and three small children to sail for America. His goal is to seek a new life for his family in the burgeoning Lower East Side of Manhattan.

On his traumatic voyage across the Atlantic on the SS Amerika steamship, Pincus meets Jakob Adler, a young man running from an accidental murder of a notorious crime boss in Warsaw. Opportunities await them in New York, but it's not an easy time for Jewish immigrants.

A few years later, while enjoying the spoils of his business and helped along with Jakob's unlawful contributions, Pincus realizes he made a terrible mistake. But the opportunity to return to his family has almost closed due to the outbreak of World War 1. Now he must face a decision, should he risk going back to Europe to rescue them from a war they could all die in, or is it better to wait in New York and build his fortune?

Born in a small shtetl in the province of Galicia, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Pincus has yearned all his life for wealth and the freedom it will bring, but what price will he have to pay for his dreams?

As the bloody battles of World War I explodes within miles of the family home, in a small village called Krzywcza, Moshe, the son of Pincus and Clara Potasznik, discovers a divine ability to foretell dire events, and to offer comfort to those in pain, taking us deep into the world of ancient Jewish mysticism, known as the Kabbalah.

Will Pincus do the right thing? And can Moshe foresee what's to come for his own family?

Critique: An inherently engaging and intrinsically interesting read from beginning to end, "A Cobbler's Tale" showcases author Neil Perry Gordon's genuine flair for narrative storytelling and his attention to historical detail. A deftly crafted and original novel that will linger in the mind and memory long after it is finished and set back upon the shelf, "A Cobbler's Tale" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Cobbler's Tale" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

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