In Israel’s ancient temple, only high priests were allowed beyond the veil and into the Holy of Holies. Thousands of years later, this legacy continues with a baby girl. As the Great Depression loomed, Naomi was born into an eccentric, but warm-hearted Jewish family, with the legendary birth veil over her face. In those more superstitious times, some believed this membrane was the mark of a prophet. But what would the veil really mean to Naomi, then to her daughter and granddaughter, and what does it mean to us today? And who was the mysterious visitor only little Naomi could see? Highlighting three women in three periods of time, makes The Face Behind the Veil, three books in one: Naomi’s Story, Rebecca’s Story and Enter Teresa.
Naomi’s Story opens in Depression-era New York, when hobos went door to door, begging for pennies or a morsel of food. Naomi’s Story shows this, recalling one violin-virtuoso-turned-hobo, who was let go from his job with a New York City orchestra. Turning to alcohol, he wandered the tenements and alleyways, playing haunting melodies on his violin for whatever crumbs or change people could spare.
This section takes us through World War II, where we meet the heroes of America’s Greatest Generation. These include high school boys who lied about their ages for the privilege of fighting and perhaps dying for their country. As a beautiful young woman with wide brown eyes and flowing chestnut hair, Naomi helps on the home front while two handsome warriors vie for her heart. But did one really have murder on his mind?
Locations include the grand old St. George Theatre where Naomi’s father worked as a projectionist and old-time movie legends such as Mae West, Ted Lewis and Jimmy Durante performed live on stage. Naomi’s family moves to a beautiful Victorian home, where the reader is a welcome guest.
Woven throughout each section and presented in a warm, conversational manner, are discussions about Jesus as the Jewish Messiah.
Rebecca is Naomi’s daughter and Rebecca’s Story opens in the New York of the 1950’s, a safer, saner world than ours today. In that world people left their doors unlocked and moms could leave their babies sleeping in carriages outside of stores, while they shopped—something unimaginable today.
But the “Father Knows Best” 1950’s gave way to the “hippie 1960’s,” when Rebecca was a part of the drug culture. Romance enters the picture with Miguel, or Mike, a handsome Latino and knight in a shining red Corvette, who rescues Rebecca from the drug scene, marries her and whisks her away to a castle in Spain. But most important, Mike is a Christian who provides Rebecca with clues to the mystery.
Teresa is Rebecca and Mike’s daughter and her section, Enter Teresa takes the story from the 1970’s to the present. It travels to Florida’s exciting Space Coast and a historic, downtown area, where lovely, young Teresa performs in Titusville’s vintage, Emma Parrish Theatre.
But here, like the curtains in that historic theatre, the curtain of time parts, and the stage is again set for the past. The story returns to Naomi and the Victorian mansion of her youth. Though out of the family for decades, Naomi has bought the home back and restored it to its former glory, with three floors of spacious rooms, five fireplaces, a grand stairway and beamed ceilings.
And as an antique clock returns to its former location on a fireplace mantle, and begins to tic-toc, tic-toc as it did so long ago, old lovers return, the past meets present, Naomi confronts her mortality and The Face Behind the Veil is revealed.