This book has a lot going on. It’s an historical mystery and modern crime story. The past affects the present and the characters have to solve both mysteries. The historical backdrop is Boston in 1880 and its communities of Jewish immigrants and former American slaves. It’s an interesting story and setting, and not one we typically think of with historical Boston.
The characters are awesome. I especially liked the Jewish grandmother who’s into Japanese cooking, Ming the Chinese-Israeli grad student who fences and swears in Yiddish, and Delilah the seeing-eye dog who guides people into potted plants and passes gas in public. The story is told in the first perspective of a blind person – Joanna - a researcher of Jewish history who investigates these mysteries.
The first 150 or so pages of this book were really well written and engaging. The characters and events were believable; the story continuously developed, and was well paced. The ending fell short though and I suspect the author isn’t finished writing it yet. It seems rushed and the resolution to the modern crime story was fairly predictable. I wanted to know more about the historical aspects – like what’s really going on with the Gostynin group and their inscription, what really happened in 1880, etc. Those parts seemed to get lost in the crime action at the end, whereas this is what first drew me into the book.
Even unfinished, this book is a good read. I would love to see a revision and find out how the author resolves some of the unfinished business. Thanks for posting this.