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Posted November 27, 2012
I picked up Sharon Potts' THE DEVIL'S MADONNA without knowing anything about it, other than the fact her first book, In Their Blood, was highly acclaimed. From the opening chapter, I was engulfed in the story and its characters. This is a book that has twists and turns in each chapter and will have you turning pages rapidly to find out what happens next.
Potts expertly weaves two stories together; one of Leli, a young Jewish girl trying to survive in Berlin in the 1930's, and one of Leli's granddaughter in present day Miami Beach trying to discover her ailing grandmother's secrets. The flashbacks and two stories are handled flawlessly and each story, while dependent on the other, is distinct and intriguing. This is a well-thoughtout, perfectly-crafted thriller.
There is a depth to this book that isn't always present in thrillers. Potts tackles the horror of the Holocaust, what it means to be German or Jewish today, and if the two worlds can coexist. It is a thought-provoking book long after you've read the final page.
I LOVED this book and will seek out Potts' other books to read next.
author of: SEAsoned: A Chef's Journey with Her Captain
Posted September 7, 2012
Sharon Potts just keeps getting better. I, too, am an author, and Sharon and I are in the same critique group, and believe me, this is not a puff review of friend's book. If I didn't love the book, I wouldn't review it. But I read parts of this novel as Sharon was writing it, so I already knew and admired how daring, controversial and original the concept was.
Well, this book is even better than I anticipated. I read it through in one sitting, and now, several days later, I am still thinking about Kali, the main character. I am haunted by her terror and the final secret that is revealed in this fascinating look at free will and the origin of evil.
Over time, it has become more and more difficult for me to enjoy books and to lose myself in a story. Not so here. From the moment Neil Rabin went jogging down that dark street, saw the flames climbing those lace curtains, and then rescued Kali's 93-year-old grandmother, Lillian Campbell, I was immersed in this tale about a young pregnant woman, an artist, who is searching to discover the details of her own family history that she will now pass on to her child. The novel transported me to the 1930's, and I loved the scenes in the coffee shops and on the streets of Berlin, when the younger and more naive "Lillian" walked into the arms that would soon threaten her and her family for generations to come.
From the lush language, to the riveting suspense, to the chilling questions about genetic predisposition, guilt, innocence, and forgiveness, Sharon Potts' latest novel, The Devil's Madonna is a book that lingers long after you've turned the last page. There isn't any higher recommendation than that.