The Other: The Linotype Legacy
by Michael Robert Wolf
Finishing Line Press

"'They give Jews a bad name. But Mahmoud, on the other hand, treats me like a something.'"

New York City is a densely packed urban sprawl of people from every race, gender, and creed. In a post-9/11 world, existing tensions between these groups carry an added layer of tension and suspicion among one another. Following a cast of characters as they intersect and interact, everything in this book ties together into a story with a common thread about self-categorization and isolation from other cultures. Naomi Kaplan is an Orthodox Jewish woman whose faith and how it brings her closer to her father is one of her most important attributes. Her boyfriend, however, is Detective Darrin Brock, a devout Christian who grows tired of his work with the NYPD. A potential Islamic terrorist threat has Brock working with Homeland Security, while his relationship with Kaplan threatens to dissolve over circumstances he cannot control.

The “Other” referred to in the title here is a brilliant way of summarizing the views of this book as it examines the way we think about people who are not like ourselves. The author does a great job of treating each of these disparate viewpoints with respect and sensitivity, addressing the cultural differences with sharp detail while using the character’s human emotional moments to highlight the similarities. Subconsciously, the reader may bring with them their own understanding of the world around them, and with an open mind will have their expectations pleasantly challenged. Capturing the vibrancy of New York City and the spirit and strength of its residents, this is a book that transcends genre and will give the reader characters and settings to hook their imagination and heartstrings on.

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