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“Leah's Way ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 08/11/2003

Leah's Way
Richard Botelho
Windstream Publishing, Jan 2004, $12.95, 256 pp.
ISBN: 0964392690

When Leah was growing up in Nashville as the youngest person in the household, she felt obviously small next to everyone else, but she was also little and frail for her age. Her ultra religious mother Margaret firmly believed in spare the rod spoil the child and constantly used a switch on Leah for any infraction regardless of significance or even guilt. Leah grew up under the guise of piety as a permanent reprimand.

As a high school senior, Leah pulls away from her family after meeting the regional golden boy, college senior Blake Palmer. She falls in love, but his family plans to make him president of the United States means which means Leah is unacceptable for anything but a short fling. Leah's pattern with men begins and her relationship with God (in her mind) ends. Leah eventually married but not for love and ha a son that she cherishes above all else, but ultimately Leah divorces her husband. As men come and men leave or perhaps Leah pushes them out, her constant is loneliness. Eventually, she becomes introspective, looking to her past hoping to find a clue of how to attain happiness.

LEAH'S WAY is a powerful character study about a lost soul struggling to find someone, but mostly acquires unhappiness. The story line is moving as the audience feels for Leah who somewhat will remind the reader of Eleanor Rigby. Richard Botelho provides a deep look at a woman in trouble, but what makes it fascinating is how much of her soul he lays bare to his readers. This strong debut will excite sub-genre fans who will pray that Leah finds her way.

Harriet Klausner

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