Dim-St. Pierre, Michelle, “Bloody Coffee”, 3 Editions Press, 2019.
There is rarely something more fun to read than family secrets and Michelle Dim-St. Pierre lets us into Leigh’s emotional journey toward self, romance and identity as she struggles to find out who she really is. Because there have been so many books written about identity and finding self, author Michelle Dim-St. Pierre had to find some new way to draw readers to her story. I must say that I was drawn because I enjoyed her first book, “Pinnacle Lust” so much and was anxious to see where we were going with this new book. However, because of the nature of the book, I cannot say too much about the plot except to tell you that you are in for quite a read.
We would think that with all of the technology today, finding one’s identity should not be problematic and I suppose it should not be unless…. there are untold secrets. We first meet Leigh in “Pinnacle Lust” (but if you have not read you will understand complete what is happening here) as a teen who discovers while reading her mother’s diary that the man she thought was her biological father, was not and heads for Israel on a mission to learn who she really is. Now we see that her life in New York and her Israeli roots are at odds with who she thinks she is… or, are they at odds? Leigh has difficult issues to deal with and they include cultural differences, paternal identity, homosexuality, and family secrets and we learn about these through the characters in the novel. What I found to be compelling is that as we learn about these issues, we do so not as an onlooker but as a participant because we are so drawn into the plot. In fact, I was so drawn in that I read the entire book in one sitting that last from the afternoon to the wee hours of the next morning.
Writer Dim-St. Pierre grew up in Israel and she explains how it is to be raised there and that she was determined to find the life inside of a country where state and church are not separate and where “the legal system dictated without a jury of peers.” I can only imagine that there is something in common between Leigh and the author and it seems logical to me that Leigh’s journey and Dim-St. Pierre’s journey are similar (if not almost the same).
Leigh was determined to find out who she is and as she journeys and searches, she finds herself facing extremes that she never imagined. She is like so many of us when she realizes just how difficult it is to live in a real world and where reality is the rule. She also becomes something of a symbol in that she is proactive. She is not content to sit and wait until something happens and is ready to make things happen. It is not easy to face reality because it holds us so tightly.
The story opens when the man who is thought to be Leigh’s biological father collapses due to a heart attached and, in fact, Leigh has just met him. Here is the real starting point of her journey and what a journey it is!!
Everything good I said about “Pinnacle Lust” can be cited here. We might have become a few years older but our writing skills have stayed intact. “Suffice it to say that this is not only a reading experience but an
emotional one as well. I found myself weeping through some of the book and
I was not only weeping for the characters for the state of Israel as well. I was totally captivated.”