Shat­tered Illusions

Leigh Her­shkovich
  • Review
By – June 9, 2014

Four peo­ple wit­ness a street mur­der in a small Louisiana town. Sam, a cof­fee shop pro­pri­etor they all know, is shot at point-blank range by a masked man. Who are these four unre­lat­ed char­ac­ters, how did they all get to this town, and what actions will each take in the after­math of the killing are ques­tions Leigh Her­shkovich com­pelling­ly answers in her first novel.

Talk about bag­gage! These diverse char­acters have sus­tained lives of deceit­ful and mis­lead­ing shat­tered illu­sions. Sarah is a twice-divorced and lone­ly self-help guru, Dan­ny is a trou­bled and dis­en­fran­chised young Aus­tralian, Mar­co is a long-suf­fer­ing wid­ow­er, and Ella is a young and con­flict­ed Ortho­dox Jew. Each char­ac­ter nar­rates a tale of woe and angst and each search­es through past secrets, remorse, and fears. The mix of grit­ty raw emo­tions, back sto­ries, and the novel’s art­ful weave keeps the read­er as off-bal­ance as the char­ac­ters at times.

The mur­der inves­ti­ga­tion plot plays on through­out their sto­ries. How these four met, inter­act­ed, and sur­vived weeks of end­less police ques­tion­ing, and each other’s com­pa­ny, all lead to them final­ly con­fronting their inner demons to solve the mys­tery of who killed Sam.

This beau­ti­ful­ly writ­ten and care­ful­ly plot­ted book offers numer­ous philo­soph­i­cal mus­ings and quotes to pon­der. It has one read­ing for much more than sim­ply, Who did it?”

Relat­ed Content:

Reni­ta Last is a mem­ber of the Nas­sau Region of Hadassah’s Exec­u­tive Board. She has coor­di­nat­ed the Film Forum Series for the Region and served as Pro­gram­ming and Health Coor­di­na­tors and as a mem­ber of the Advo­ca­cy Committee.

She has vol­un­teered as a docent at the Holo­caust Memo­r­i­al and Tol­er­ance Cen­ter of Nas­sau Coun­ty teach­ing the all- impor­tant lessons of the Holo­caust and tol­er­ance. A retired teacher of the Gift­ed and Tal­ent­ed, she loves par­tic­i­pat­ing in book clubs and writ­ing projects.

Discussion Questions