BOOK REVIEW FRIDAY – RISE TO POWER

RisetoPowerRise to Power by Uvi Poznansky is a stand alone historical novel, even though it is Volume 1 of the David Chronicles box set. It is also the first book in the AT ODDS WITH DESTINY box set. Rise to Power chronicles the story of King David with a little bit of Goliath and a whole lot of Saul.

I’m picky about the historical fiction I choose to read. When it’s done well, I’m a fan. I’m also a fan of Uvi Poznansky (Author Wednesday) and her contemporary work of literary fiction, Apart from Love (Book Review Friday)so I began reading with confidence that Ms. Poznansky’s deft hand could change genres with aplomb.

Historical fiction recounting a familiar story requires a creative mind to make the story fresh, even though we already know the ending. It’s why the Greeks saw hundreds of versions of Oedipus and Elizabethans never tired of watching Caesar mutter, “Et tu, Brute?” Readers and play- and movie-goers alike desire to be entertained with a perspective they’ve not yet imagined.

The task demands a command of plot structure, development of characters, and a unique unfolding of events. Ms. Poznansky achieves it all in Rise to Power.

Even more challenging for the author is point of view. In this novel, the reader jumps right into the mind of David, who takes us on his journey from his job as Saul’s court jester and musician to his encounter with the Philistine Goliath and beyond. The first person point of view sets it apart from other retellings because now we’ve entered into the realm of the author’s imagination as she envisions how David might have felt at all the junctures in his life.

The story of Kind David recounts the magical myth of a man–perhaps the original story of poor boy triumphant in his rise to glory. Going inside the mind of the man himself provides us with more than a mere recounting of the details we already know. His rise to glory–seen through his eyes–follows the universal contrasts of fear and bravery, disgust and lust, joy and depression, love and hate, disapprobation and respect.

The author captivates the reader with the first line of Chapter 1: “I am so thrilled.” This chapter is preceded by a Prologue set later in David’s life where he expresses anything but the joy of this first glimpse into his mind as a young boy summoned to play before King Saul.

Let the roller coaster ride to power begin. I am now anxious to read Volumes 2 and 3, A Peek at Bathsheba and The Edge of Revolt. I’m impressed with all aspects of this work of historical fiction, so I am certain the rest of The David Chronicles will follow suit.

FREE during April

FREE during April

Book Review Friday – Apart from Love by Uvi Poznansky

ApartfromLoveLitFicI’m behind on writing reviews, but I hope the lapse will be forgiven with my review of an astounding book from Uvi Poznansky and her work of literary fiction, Apart from Love. Ms. Poznansky is a multi-talented author and artist, and with this novel, she creates a multi-faceted and multi-layered work of art.

The story is told through the first person narrations of Anita, the new wife of Lenny and step-mother to the other narrator, Ben. The point of view is unique because the story is more about the love between Ben’s parents, Lenny and Natasha, than the other two, who form another sort of love story. Ben’s separation from his home for ten years only shows the level of dysfunction in this family. I use the word “dysfunction” with disdain sometimes because it is overused to the point where it sometimes means very little. But if any family is dysfunctional, it is this one.

During Ben’s absence, the lack of communication with his mother and father is evident when he comes home. For a decade, he assumed his talented pianist mother is out on tour, when in fact, his father is hiding something quite important from his son about Natasha.

In the meantime, Lenny has remarried Anita who is one year younger than Ben. She’s a beauty–a younger version of Natasha. It’s complicated and completely dysfunctional in the true meaning of that word.

Literary techniques abound in Apart from Love. The author skillfully creates symbols and metaphors with the white piano in the living room, the antique mirror in the bedroom, and the tape recorder on the balcony. The point of view represents the author’s skill in writing dialogue that characterizes both Ben and Anita. It’s obvious when switching between chapters who is the narrator, even though Ms. Poznansky tells the reader if it’s Ben or Anita in each chapter title. That’s helpful, but with her paintbrush, she paints prose that is distinct for each one.

Alzheimers rears its horrifying head in parts of the story, as does the family’s inability to know how to deal with it. Insanity hovers at the edges of all the characters as well, presenting the reader with that fine line between genius and the alternative.

If that’s not enough, Lenny is a writer who uses the words of others to create his stories. The blurred lines between reality and fiction are explored in this intimate look at how authors sometimes steal identities from others to draw portraits of real life. It’s haunting in its honesty of how an author works. The “record, rewind, record” element of the story reminds me that all reality is really the fiction of our imaginations.

Uvi Poznansky is a talented author who says in her bio, “I paint with my pen, and write with my paintbrush.” The cover of Apart from Love and the content in between are assurances that this is true.

Click to preorder - $.99

Click cover to preorder – only $.99

After reading this novel, I’m even more honored that Ms. Poznansky asked me to be a part of her latest endeavor, the box set At Odds with Destiny, a collection of ten novels by ten unique authors. The full-length novels are brimming with myth, fantasy, mystery, history, romance, drama, originality, heroism, and suspense. Finding themselves at odds with destiny, the characters in these stories fight to shape their future and define who they are. My offering Native Lands examines how cultural boundaries established centuries ago are erased as love and nature seek the balance lost in the battle for power and control of the last of the Florida frontier.