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Miriam the Mediumby Rochelle Jewel Shapiro
Synopses & Reviews
In the tradition of Susan Isaacs comes a charming debut novel featuring a lovable phone psychic, whose talents will either save her family from financial ruin — or ruin her family altogether.
What do you do when your husband's business is failing, your daughter is ashamed of you, and your faith in your own talents hits rock bottom? Miriam is a modern-day Long Island housewife, who just happens to be a professional phone psychic. But while she can heal broken hearts, mend relationships, and help others find new careers, her own life is in shambles.
It starts with the family business. Her husband, Rory, is working every spare minute to keep his business, Mirror Pharmacy, afloat, but no matter what cost-saving measures he takes, a profit seems farther and farther away. Using her gift, Miriam tries to channel to the heart of the problem, but Rory's patience with her "readings" has worn as thin as his cash flow. Then there is Miriam's teenage daughter, Cara, who cannot stand to be in the same room with her, much less listen to any psychically generated advice. Now involved with a particularly bad-news boyfriend, she's too in love to take Miriam's warnings seriously. Miriam struggles to maintain a positive outlook — things are bad, but they can always be worse, goes her mantra. So when a persistent agent proclaims her talents remarkable and marketable, Miriam decides to take action. But will going public ruin her family's already questionable standing in their prim Long Island community? And will her trusted spirits — her dear departed Dad and Russian grandmother, Bubbie — remain faithful if she "sells out"? Miriam struggles to sort through her escalating troubles and trust her abilities in times of crisis, even as her visions are becoming too cloudy to interpret.
In a quirky tale full of humor and heartache, Rochelle Shapiro captures the universal desire to find one's true self, no matter the opinions of others. Smart and sassy, Miriam the Medium is the debut of a talented and imaginative author --one who is able to conjure with words and spirit.
"If, round about page 40, you want to tell Miriam Kaminsky to stuff it up her aura, you're in good company. Her pharmacist husband, Rory, has had it with her well-meant new-age meddling in his business. As for their daughter, Cara, she figures no teen ever had a more embarrassing mom than this phone psychic with her flowing clothes and herbal remedies. Miriam could help support her family if she expanded her psychic business, but Cara certainly doesn't want her to. Yet first-time novelist Shapiro has a gift of her own; even the skeptical reader can't help believing that Miriam is wired differently from the rest of us. She sees her dead grandmother and her husband's deceased parents, hears sounds beyond the normal range of hearing and perceives the love her daughter feels for bad boy Lance Stark as a 'pink haze.' Poor, sweet Miriam! Why isn't life easier? Things will work out, of course, but only after Miriam must use her gifts to save Cara from freezing in the woods after she runs off with Lance. When Cara discovers her dead grandmother's sewing machine, it seems that she, too, has a gift: all she has to do is look at a piece of fabric to know what it should become. In addition to delivering touching wisdom about mothers and daughters, Shapiro also offers a sharp portrait of fastidious, appearance-obsessed Great Neck, N.Y. Agent, Caroline Carney at Book Deals Inc. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Rochelle Jewel Shapiro, like her narrator, is the granddaughter of a Russian-born psychic. She has been published in The New York Times and in numerous literary magazines. Her short story "The Wild Russian" appeared in Father: Famous Writers Celebrate the Bond Between Father and Child (Pocket Books). She lives in Great Neck, New York.
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