Reviewer June Maffin:Living on an island in British Columbia, Canada, Dr. Maffin is a neophyte organic gardener, eclectic reader, ordained minister (Anglican/Episcopal priest) and creative spirituality writer/photographer with a deep zest for life. Previously, she has been grief counselor, broadcaster, teacher, journalist, television host, chaplain and spiritual director with an earned doctorate in Pastoral Care (medical ethics i.e. euthanasia focus). Presently an educator, freelance editor, blogger, and published author of three books, her most recent (Soulistry-Artistry of the Soul: Creative Ways to Nurture your Spirituality) has been published in e-book as well as paperback format and a preview can be viewed on YouTube videos. Founder of Soulistry™ she continues to lead a variety of workshops and retreats connecting spirituality with creativity and delights in a spirituality of play. You can find out more about June by clicking on her Web Site.
Author: Sophia Bar-Lev
Two women whose lives intersect in a hospital room in Boston, Massachusetts in 1941 are faced with a critical situation. How they deal with the situation will not only affect them, but many others for many, many years.
Joe Rosenfeld, Sarah’s husband, was a skilled tradesman and dreamed of becoming a factory foreman. When the factory closed, no work was to be found in town or nearby. When his uncle offered him work in New Mexico, the couple realized Joe had to leave. Seventeen months later, they are still separated. One night, Sarah is raped. Now pregnant, she is in hospital awaiting the birth of her child. The baby is born - healthy. Joe is completely unaware of both the rape and pregnancy.
Danny Lapkin, Rosalie’s husband, is serving on the French/German border during WW11. Rapid gunfire penetrated Danny’s chest and he died dreaming or a reunion with his wife and soon-to-be-born baby with Rosalie’s name on his lips. Awaiting the birth of her child in the same hospital as Sarah, her baby girl is born via C-section after eighteen hours of labour - stillborn.
Late one night, through tears, Sarah shares her story with Rosalie. Sarah’s daughter is alive but she cannot keep the baby. Rosalie’s baby is dead. Rosalie is visited by Rachel Lowenstein, the wife of the local Rabbi, and “hashgacha pratis” (an intervention of divine providence) is set in place as the Rabbi arranges for a private legal adoption of Sarah’s baby girl by Rosalie. Sarah and Joe move away from Boston as do and Rosalie, her new husband, Matt, and the baby now named Rebecca Sarah. As the years pass, Rosalie wonders if/when to tell Rebecca the story of how she came to be part of the family. Rebecca’s high school graduation seems to be an appropriate time, so Rosalie gives Rebecca a silver locket. The secret, kept for eighteen years, begins to unravel.
Sadly, there is little evidence of the work of an experienced editor’s presence in the publication of this book. Had there been, the overt, unsubtle bias towards adoption-after-rape would be less intrusive and the author’s conservative religious overtones which disrupt the flow of the book would be less intense and obvious.
The book is touted as being “based on a true story” but the question is --- what part is based on a true story? Is the seed-of-truth an adoption? … a private adoption between one woman who was raped and another whose baby was stillborn? … a Rabbi and his wife who were involved in a private adoption? … a rapist whose life was turned around? … something else? Editors are an integral part of publication and can often make the difference between an ‘interesting’ book and an excellent book. This is an ‘interesting’ book.