Sometimes 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 "No Other Choice: The Naomi Chronicles, Book One", 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 "No Other Choice" 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 Book 2 in this 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! http://amzn.to/1tN7hEp