Redemption from severe emotional trauma requires two key elements, the victim's inner strength and one other person who understands. So it is with Emma Braza in The Road Back Isn't Straight.
After being kidnapped, then tortured and raped, and dramatically rescued, Emma’s fears and notoriety prevent her from developing relationships. By chance, she meets a young surgical resident, Dr. David Milton, from a different cultural background, who helps her navigate through the difficult recovery. Her family's bigotry force her to make life changing lose-lose decisions.
The Road Back Isn’t Straight, just published and available in bookstores,is an engrossing adult romantic tale of deep sorrow and salvation. Funny, poignant and rich with compelling characters in its 100,000 words, the book would be enjoyed by anyone over the age of 17.
This story grabs you from the beginning and really makes you care about the characters. I really enjoyed the book!
This is a page-turner. Dr. Gottesman has a gift for story telling and character development. I am eagerly awaiting his next book.
The Road Back Isn’t Straight
Dr. James E. Gottesman launches his writing career with a notable first novel.
By Larry Donohue, MD
Dr. James Gottesman’s debut novel, The Road Back Isn’t Straight, is impressively well written. The characters are believable, and the intertwining of their stories made it difficult to stop reading before all was made whole.
The central story is that of young Emma Braza, and the action takes place mainly on the University of Washington campus and in the Walla Walla Valley.
Emma’s late maternal grandfather – the third-generation leader of the deLorraine Winery in Walla Walla – recognized that she has “the talent,” a sophisticated nose and palate, and Emma knows that she was born to run the vineyard and winery. Unfortunately, her father (now president of the company) thinks that her brother, Alan, should be the next head of the winery, although he has little talent and even less interest – and he is nasty to both Emma and the vineyard workers.
During Emma’s junior year in college, her dreams are sidetracked when her path crosses that of a recently paroled felon. Stopping for water at a roadside eatery, she interrupts a murder-robbery in progress, with devastating results. Over the next year, as Emma struggles to heal from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PRSD), support comes from unexpected sources and is withheld from others.
In his practice years, our colleague James Gottesman was always restlessly developing his many talents. He trained as a urologist and then subspecialized in urologic oncology while developing medical software, working on his tennis game, and entertaining his family with stories.
Finally, in retirement, he had the time to respond to his family urging him to write. Knowing Jim’s penchant to do things in a highly accomplished manner, perhaps I should not have been surprised that, rather than cranking out short stories, Jim started where aspiring authors hope to evolve, a novelist.
The medical aspects of The Road Back Isn’t Straightare authoritatively written, but not dwelt upon. Local scenes of Seattle, the UW campus, and Walla Walla wine country make it possible for a local reader to see oneself in the story, and Gottesman describes the wines as a talented sommelier would.
He shows that, like his characters, he is multidimensional: an experienced physician, a credible oenophile, knowledgeable about police tactics, and with clear memories of his college experiences.
I find that many less gifted writers have difficulty ending a story, but not Gottesman. His dénouement is believable and satisfying to the reader. As I read, I kept thinking that I wished that this Renaissance man had starting writing fiction years ago. I am eagerly waiting the completion of his second novel.
Though the story in his first novel is Hollywood worthy, I encourage you to read the book. The Road Back Isn’t Straightis available in paperback ($15) from Amazon and other retailers or in a Kindle version for only $2.99 (plus tax).
About the Author:
Larry Donohue, MD (1939-2015) was an Ob/Gyn in Seattle.