A Woman's Voice

Book Reviews ~ Beginning Anew

PaulaBeginning Anew by Author Paula Rose Michelson

“Beginning Anew” is the third book I have read and reviewed in the captivating “Casa de Naomi (House of Blessing)” series and it certainly won’t be the last if there are more novels to come by talented Author Paula Rose Michelson. It felt like I was visiting some very old and dear friends as I was quickly drawn into their intriguing lives yet again.

Chaz and Naomi have reaffirmed their marriage vows and are about to resume where they left off after their very unfortunate and painful separation. Chaz is still consumed with guilt for the unkind way he treated Naomi when he discovered her religious background. Full of remorse and with a somewhat clearer understanding of not only her heritage but his as well, they both set their minds to starting over and beginning anew in their yet to be consummated marriage. As to be expected, they are truly blessed with the love they have for each other and now they must learn to cherish, respect, and be totally honest with one another as they grow in that love.

Chaz has a surprise for Naomi…a beautiful hand carved sign hung above the entrance to the recently remodelled casa. Naomi prefers that it be placed above the former grandmother’s home behind the main house. When Tio Luis comes over to make the change, he begins to share the origin of the casa when, in the early 1900’s Vieda came to live in Spanish Harlem with her papa. Naomi thinks he has misspelled Tia Vida’s name…however, she is soon to discover otherwise.

After their emotional upheaval, Chaz and Naomi are determined to share…“the unique gift of being able to come together, fully known, and still be loved.” Yet, there are many new secrets to be uncovered. When Justine gives Vieda’s journal to Naomi to assist her in helping Chaz better understand his heritage, Naomi gets a much better understanding of Vieda. The more she reads, the more she is captivated and intrigued by her personal story. Strange things start to happen to her…it is as if Vieda is now communicating directly to her. Naomi senses her presence and can mysteriously play on the piano like she has never played before. It is as if Vieda is now reliving her life through the eyes of Naomi. Although this concept is beyond Naomi’s comprehension, she knows she must follow through with reading Vieda’s journal in order to have closure not only for Vieda but for her and Chaz as well.

“Beginning Anew” is yet another incredible romantic novel in this fictional series penned by gifted Author Paula Rose Michelson. I could not put this book down as I was so captivated by the storyline with its rare combination of fact…..the history of the persecution of the hidden Jews and fiction….the enticing love story between Chaz and Naomi whereby they have the opportunity to discover “echad” in the deep abiding love uniquely found in a God-centered marriage. This author truly demonstrates her faith in her own words as she states…“God is faithful! Whatever he has called you to do, when you step out in faith, as I did, God will meet you and together you will become more than a conqueror!” Her books testify this belief and her personal relationship with Messiah Yeshua. A rare gem indeed!

Inspirational Author & Book Reviewer ~ Dolores Ayotte


Book Reviews ~ Casa de Naomi – House of Blessing (Book 1)

PaulaSometimes you read a book merely for pleasure…other times, you read a book to gather information or increase your knowledge of a subject…and sometimes you find a wonderful book that offers both regardless of your choice for reading it. In “Casa de Naomi – House of Blessing – Book I”, I must admit that I lucked out. I am very grateful to have discovered this captivating fictional novel filled with historical relevance which is sure to capture the interest of the most discerning readers. It certainly captured mine!

Naomi the protagonist, as a teenager secretly leaves her homeland to start a new life in America where she thinks she will have the freedom to live a full life without religious prejudice. Due to the untimely death of the elderly lady who has hired her as a travel companion and…upon her arrival at the Immigration Office on Ellis Island, without a sponsor, Naomi is about to be turned away. Fortunately, she is “adopted” by Tia Vida, as many before her, who have been swept up by her desire to help these young women in finding a support system in Spanish Harlem. Her every hope is to offer these “ninas” a better life and safe haven until they qualify to become American citizens. Tia Vida has sacrificed her life for this noble cause and has opened her heart and her home to these young girls. Little does Naomi know what Tia Vida has in mind for her future.

In this captivating, intriguing, and heart wrenching novel, the reader quickly learns about the necessity to be so secretive when embracing these young women. However, there is an even great mystery that lies within the heart and soul of Naomi. She fled her country for more than one reason. Not only is she an illegal immigrant, she is also a young Jewish girl who is in hiding because of her beliefs. As a result of the Spanish Inquisition, along with many other people of Jewish faith, she is forced to either become a Catholic convert or at least look like one and practice her faith in the privacy of her own home. Naomi chooses the latter….and so her double life commences as she takes over the Casa when Tia Vida bequeaths it to her upon her death and all the responsibilities that go with it. Naomi is a natural as she is so loving and kind. She quickly becomes a blessing to all in her community and is highly regarded and respected. She even manages to find the love of a life time and marries Chaz who pursues her with fervor and an ardent love that is unexpectedly matched by her own…but then along comes Lola, a new young immigrant teenager about to be turned away and life is never the same for dear trusting Naomi…

Gifted Author Paula Rose Michelson has done a magnificent job of creating a wonderful work of art. Fictional, though it may be, there are many truths that are revealed in “Casa de Naomi” that are difficult to digest. I would like to thank her for her research, her effort, and her desire to enlighten us. I eagerly look forward to Volume II in the Casa saga series…there is such a cliff-hanger at the end of this novel that left me wanting more. No author can ask for more than this nor can any reader!

Inspirational Author & Book Reviewer ~ Dolores Ayotte

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