Book Review: Lori
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at 10:40AM
Windy City Reviews

Lori. Charlene Wexler. Polgarus Studio and CreateSpace Independent Publishing, August 14, 2014, Trade Paperback and Kindle, 342 pages.

Reviewed by Ray Paul.

Lori, the story of Lori Weinberg Brill, is presented to the reader over a period of thirty years as she deals with her alcoholic husband, tries to understand her feelings of emotional abandonment by her mother, and is forced to deal with the death of her daughter from cancer. In addition, her reformed Jewish family background conflicts with the orthodox Jewish upbringing of her mother-in-law, resulting in a hatred that goes both ways. Lori is not friendless. Adele, her sister-in-law, is a true friend and constant understanding companion throughout Lori's many ups and downs. Her other friend, Rain, appears later in her life when Lori moves to Arizona. The fascinating thing about the storyline is that these apparently random connections are all tied to Lori's—and her family's—past, a past the author does not divulge until the very end of the story.

I found this rich story to be a great read from many perspectives. First, there is Lori, a sweet and loyal woman living in a minefield of dysfunction in her upscale community. There is the religious element that brings people together and at the same time separates them, and, not to be overlooked, there are the historical implications that brought mystery and resolution to Lori.

While I truly enjoyed Lori, I do have two issues with the writing. One issue is the vast number of characters, many who were not well developed and not easy to remember. The other is the author's use of a shifting omniscient point of view to describe her characters. I found it occasionally disconcerting to jump from the head of one character to another instead of letting me understand what is happening from Lori's viewpoint. Regardless of these points, Lori is a wonderful book and a great read.


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