Author: Alan A. Winter
Author website: http://www.alanwinter.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt
ISLAND BLUFFS is a multi-layered story of forgiveness, of understanding the dark side of the human spirit, and plumbs the question: are children and grandchildren accountable for the sins of their parents. It is also a love story.
Carly Mason, NY’s top forensic dentist is married to widower, Gabe Berk. Having exhausted all of NYC’s top fertility experts, they learn of an eccentric scientist — a survivor of the Mengele Twin Experiments – who runs an exclusive clinic. The doctor presents a Faustian challenge: Carly must carry twins, one biologically related to her and one that is not, agreeing to give up the surrogate baby at birth. In addition, the Berks must move to within thirty minutes of the doctor’s clinic at the Jersey Shore.
Carly and Gabe, along with Gabe’s daughter from his first marriage and his father who is a Holocaust survivor, move to Island Bluffs. Island Bluffs is a present-day town blinded by a pact made long ago that is filled with secrets all would prefer to remain buried. Now that the Berks have bought this long-forgotten house, keeping secrets buried is no longer an option. When these truths are revealed, they will, by turns, shock and amaze and challenge the very fabric of what is morally right and wrong.
Let me start by saying I expected Island Bluffs to be an okay book with some intrigue and an interesting premise. I did not get what I expected at all. It was full of so many different mysteries, issues addressed, wild rides and “oh my gosh” moments. It is really hard to even begin to explain what this book is about. I was totally shocked by how many different sensitive issues were brought up and explored in this novel. Where I expected some form of evil or scary presences, I got a blast of smack in the face moments over and over again. It really defies words. Just hang on to your hat when you read this entrancing tome.
Island Bluffs has everything, seriously everything. A desperate couple trying everything to have a baby, teenage angst, history (both real and imagined), ghosts, lost love, intolerance, science and science fiction, family relationships, love, hate, anger, forgiveness. Seriously you cannot even begin to believe all the secrets this small town is harboring. Carly Mason and her husband Gabe Berk (Berkowitz) learn of a magic man that runs a clinic near the Jersey shore who can guarantee a pregnancy for the couple. Dr. Isadore Teplitsky (the baby maker) has a few bizarre requirements however. The couple must live near the clinic when Carly is near delivery date and the oddest requirement, she has to carry a surrogate child for the doctor as well as her own. The family moves into an abandoned home on the water front, the home of Gabe’s dreams and a home the town inadvertently forgot. They bring along Gabe’s troubled teenager daughter Megan, from his first marriage (his first wife passed away). Also along for the move is Gabe’s elderly father Yehuda Berkowitz who is a survivor of the Holocaust. They are not met by the welcome wagon.
Not only does the house itself hold secrets from World War II, but the townsfolk seem to be stuck in a time when the German Bund was prevalent in the area. Things are not what they seem. Strange discoveries occur in the home and thanks to Carly’s forensic knowledge some answers are eventually found. The way author Alan A. Winter ties and intertwines each story is true mastery. The characters are so full of life and their relationships are heartfelt. Every detail is needed and is in this book and each brings another snippet of this storyline or that or all of them to light. The suspense is thrilling. The emotions are raw and intense. Winter has woven an incredible story the likes of which I have not had the pleasure to read before.
I cannot begin to explain the different facets this jewel of a book has without giving away more of the mystery. It was such a true pleasure to get pulled in more and more after reading each page, I would hate to deprive the reader of that same gift. Island Bluffs was a treat to read. I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys a deep and intense novel that touches the heart, the mind and your morals. Alan A. Winter has written a book that makes the reader think, feel, cringe, scream and so much more. The mysteries keep coming and twisting and turning in this book. Hang on for a wild ride, even if it starts slow, do not be fooled. It will come to life with a vengeance and surprises lurk around each corner and page.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*