Cog Stone Dreams

Cog Stone Dreams

by Diane Schochet
4.5 2

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Cog Stone Dreams 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Alice D. for Readers Favorite Dessa Halom's family is poor, Jewish, and living on very little when Dessa meets Leo on a California beach near where her father's car has broken down. Leo sells her a cog stone to make a wish, and suddenly Dessa finds her lost sandals and her handkerchief filled with coins. Dessa's family's luck changes and her father goes onto wealth in the world of gambling and bets. Dessa begins to write "Dessa's Dream", a newspaper column, and she goes back in history in her cog stone dreams to write of Juan Sebastian Cabrillo, the explorer, and Father Junipero Sierra, the Franciscian monk, both men important to California history. Majoring in theater arts at UCLA in the 1950's, Dessa researches Cabel Sturmis and the beginnings of the Westbruk Wetlands in California, now endangered by man-made development. "Cog Stone Dreams" is written with humor and a stream-of-consciousness style that will appeal to many readers who want to read something out of the ordinary. Narrator Dessa is a delightful character who tells of the decades of her life and her love of the Westbruk Wetlands that are endangered by man's insistence on making his mark, even if it drives out endangered species and creates artificial waterways. Dessa tells of her marriage to Leonard Lechman, the birth of their sons, and, of course of her cog stone dreams, of her friend Leo and his arrow-shooting grandfather. "Cog Stone Dreams" will entertain environmentalists and the readers craving something different to read.
allenaK More than 1 year ago
COG STONE DREAMS by Diane Schochet A review…………………………… by Allena F. Kaplan: Catholic Woman of the Year nominee, 2011 What’s your reading of choice? True historic pieces, with copious details of geography and culture? Family tales of trials, tribulations, triumphs, and true love? Are you a daydreamer who likes to hear of imagined adventures or exaggerated fears? How about non-fiction lessons about our environment, laced with breath-taking descriptions of natural beauty? You can get all these, skillfully interwoven into an entertaining story, very much true-to-life, mixing the stark truths of real life with amusing tales based on the historic past. Diane Schochet’s Cog Stone Dreams will make you thoughtful and delighted. Schochet gives us history of Westbruk Wetlands, an area on the California coast. Running from pre-historic times to the present time, we see how the land is at first lush with clean beaches, plentiful greenery, and wonderfully free and healthy animals and birds. We share the devastation when the area is dammed up, to prevent ocean water from entering, so that social aristocracy can feast on fresh water duck. The result is disease, rapid decrease of food sources, and the eventual disappearance of much of the beauty of nature. For human interest, our heroine Dessa is a young Jewish woman who writes an advice column in a throwaway newspaper. We get to see her develop from a young girl traveling with Grandma, to a woman who wrestles the life of a wife and mother, while performing with community theatre to reduce her boredom. Lots of social issues are posed, some answered, some left to the reader. Most of Dessa’s distractions are dreams, induced by a cog stone, an intricate carving thought to have been used for ceremonial purposes. She sees historical characters like explorer Cabrillo interact with natives who romp innocently on the unspoiled land. She watches history unfold in a mixture of misfortune and good. And, most skillfully, she shows us how developing civilization and progress ruin the environment and corrupt people. Schochet finds ways to relate the stories lovingly, verbally caressing the reader’s heart and senses. You can’t help feeling good and being thoughtful, after reading this.