Books of controversial topics fall into two categories in most cases: shock value stories with poor writing, or historical revelations (a la Dan Brown) that at least convey a message. John R. Little has never been afraid to delve into sensitive areas and rile up the emotions where other authors fear to tread (see The Memory Tree). The title of this book may deter some readers, but those who know of Little and who embrace the uncomfortable will flock to this intriguing story, which is sure to not only ruffle some feathers, but scorch them.
Photographer David Ableman lives a quiet life, taking pictures of such events as the latest rocket launch that will send his girlfriend to the dark side of the moon. When his grandmother dies, he learns she has left him something special: a magic that has long existed in Jewish culture—the Shel jah. Before one judges this as another time travel story—don’t. That’s only a small part of this emotional cage match.
One would assume that a protagonist of a family member with ties to the Holocaust would travel back and do the obvious: kill Hitler. Yet Little has never been one to settle for the given. David learns the magic and launches himself backwards to the time of Christ and, well…murders him.
Why? Read the book.
But that’s far from the end as the messiah comes again, as those of us familiar with the story have been told since childhood. Enter a nineteen-year old African-American woman from New York. Definitely not what America, or the world, was expecting.
What ensues is explosive, touching, and mind-expanding in a manner that John Little does so well.
The story takes some intriguing left turns that push the deceptively simple novel into something refreshing and far beyond the shock value of the title.