The Eternal Hope Of An Author
Posted by Literary Titan
To See God follows a Jewish family who, despite being separated by distance and religious beliefs, find a way to bond. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?
The novel is a sequel to The Flight of the Veil, the book in which the Greek Orthodox nun, Sister Theodora, is reunited with her older brother, Dr. Nicky Covo, after they were separated for 47 years by the Holocaust. The shock of their unexpected reunion – of Nicky, who believed his entire family died at Auschwitz after he’d left their family home to hide, and of his baby sister, then named Kal, who has no recollection for that long period of having been born into a Jewish family – puts all the characters in motion, and that’s where the prior novel ends. In particular, Sister Theodora has begun to recall her Jewish roots, including Talmudic stories taught to her by their father. So my principal motivation in writing To See God was to learn what happened next to these characters, whom I have grown to love over the 13 years I’ve been writing about them.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from your story?
A desire to read the book again and to share it with their friends. Beyond that – the eternal hope of an author that he has created a compelling reading experience – I would be pleased if readers took from the story a renewed sense of the importance of family. That’s why I have intertwined so many other family sub-plots into the story of Nicky and Theodora. These include the relationship of Nicky’s adult son and daughter, Max and Kayla, who live together; that of Kayla and August, her son’s father, who struggle through a Family Court custody fight; that of Nicky and Helen, who must decide in their senior years whether to marry; and most importantly that of Theodora and Jackie, her grandnephew, whose religious beliefs seem inextricably in conflict – but maybe not.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
I’ve already mentioned family, but equally important is the importance of faith to many of the characters in this book. And that presents its own set of conflicts, one of the most interesting of which, in my opinion, is the divergence between orthodox beliefs and new religious experiences not endorsed by orthodoxy. A central character is Abbess Fevronia, the leader of Sister Theodora’s monastery and someone who must try to bridge the growing gap between Greek Orthodox Christianity and what Sister Theodora – who has undoubtedly experienced miracles and might one day be deemed a saint – claims is a message from God. But religious conflicts surround others in the novel as well, e.g., Nicky, an atheist, and Helen, a deeply religious Jew.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’ve started a fourth book of this series, tentatively named Forgiveness, which would be a sequel to To See God. But I teach writing at American University during the fall and spring semesters, and I find it difficult to make much progress in my own writing when I’m more involved with my students’ lives and their writing. This coming summer I hope to complete a first draft of the novel, and then we’ll see where it goes from there. With luck, Forgiveness would be available in about two years.
About Literary TitanThe Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.
Posted on March 4, 2023, in Interviews and tagged author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Bruce J. Berger, christian fiction, ebook, fiction, goodreads, indie author, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, spirituality, story, To See God, writer, writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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