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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Scheresade by Ronit Levy

Scheresade by Ronit Levy
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Length: Full (280 pages)
Genre: Historical, Romance
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Erika's life is full of promise. She's found a wonderful man, a loving family, a new life in America. So why have her nightmares returned, and why is her fiancé turning against her? With the help of a passionate young neurologist and an embittered Holocaust survivor, she follows the traces in her dreams to unravel the mystery of her past and discover true love.

Levy’s Scheresade is unexpectedly and immediately gripping. We are in 1943, one of the Nazi’s camps… and a Jewish man, scholar and father, struggles in his role as a prisoner. We receive scarcely a glimpse… then thunder forward to a different time, a different world. The story picks up in contemporary time, in the more ordinary sphere of California, but we, as readers, are already there, invested… curious.

The power of Scheresade is far more than remembered tragedies, or heroism. It is in the moving characters, their respect and their love for one another. It is in their growth yes, but also in the recognition some have already achieved; some like Grandma Erika, know themselves very well.

And it is about anger, resentment, and empowerment. It is about a desire for more than justice – and as readers, we’re there, with the frustration and anger, as powerful as the tenderness at other times. This is about more than history; it is about what the past has done to our world.

Levy writes with the power to compel; straightforward prose exposes emotional elements left otherwise unsaid. The subtlety of this work is incredible, but also powerful. The drama that boils beneath the surface spills over into the lives of all. The characters never take a back seat to the conflict. This fan of the typical romance (and many different genre/romances) would like to point out that this is an atypical romance; perhaps more uncomfortable and demanding of readers than we actually desire. However, from the first, the reader will find themselves invested in the characters and glued to the tale. Light entertainment, this is Not.

This is a moving, powerful story. It is hard to put down; but it is also not easy; there is as much of the dark, as any other… but compassion shines throughout.