It’s a very metaphorical eagle: my latest book, ‘All Quiet on the Midwestern Front; a Tale of Deception, Betrayal and Vindication,’ which has been two years in the making and has now been published on Amazon and is available as an ebook and a paperback. It is my longest book so far, numbering just under 500 pages, and I only hope that readers will enjoy the ride. Like my previous books, this one has a cover based on a water-colour painting of mine that has been admirably produced by my talented son Eitan Shefer. The picture shows a quiet suburban street with an ambiguous – possibly threatening – figure in the foreground.
The book describes the events that befall Avi Samuels, an ambitious Israeli scientist who is spending a year in Seabrook, a sleepy university town in Nebraska, only to find that the head of the department seems to be hostile towards him, while articles and letters from readers in the local newspaper proclaim rabidly anti-Israel, even anti-Semitic, opinions. Despite these and other setbacks, Avi is determined to do good scientific work while he is in Nebraska.
Avi’s wife, Rachel, suffers from boredom and loneliness at first, though the wife of the head of the department tries to provide her with some company. However, Rachel does not feel comfortable with the lady’s overbearing personality, and it is only when she starts going to art classes at the local community college that she starts to find an interest in life. The main focus of her interest is the art teacher, Duane, who seems to be equally attracted to Rachel, and so the inevitable love affair, with all its complicated ramifications, ensues.
Rachel and Avi’s children, teenage twins, one of each gender, encounter difficulties at school, finding the American education system alien and complicated, and the students unfriendly. In addition, they have to contend with language and cultural differences that place them at a disadvantage vis-à-vis the system. Their frustration eventually lands them in trouble and it is only after the school principal intervenes that they are able to come to terms with their new life.
The reader is made privy to the machinations of the Brotherhood, a group of rabidly racist individuals who are plotting to bring death and destruction to minority groups in Seabrook and the rest of America. Whether the head of Avi’s department is involved in this or not is one of the strands that constitute the plot of the book.
Various other characters move in and out of the narrative, with Avi’s colleague and neighbour, Tom Friedman and his wife Nancy, featuring prominently in the events described in the book. Some of the university’s cleaning staff also play a role in helping Avi overcome the various setbacks he encounters as he seeks to make a scientific breakthrough in his chosen field.
The Nebraska climate also plays a part, and determines to a considerable extent what happens to the various individuals.
As the book comes to its conclusion, the various ends are tied up, the scientific breakthrough may or may not have been achieved, and the plot to sow death and destruction throughout America appears to have been foiled. At least for the moment.
I hope that everyone reading this blog will buy a copy, whether for Kindle or to hold in their hand, and if they write a review on Amazon my gratitude will know no bounds.