Book Review: The Luminous Heart of Jonah S by Gina B Nahai

The Luminous Heart of Jonah S is a tale to be savored. This novel follows an Iranian Jewish family and their immigration to California. Along the way the author weaves mystical notes, biblical betrayals, and poignant love stories into a beautiful story.
Every character has a rich background that is introduced to readers at exactly the right time, albeit sometimes in a round about way. The connections between the family members is never straight forward lending a subtle taste of mystery to the novel. There are rich husbands and crazy old hags not to mention the possible stolen boy who claim’s to be Raphael’s son.

I especially loved Elizabeth, an independent woman who carries the smell of the sea with her where ever she goes. It was amazing to contrast the way Elizabeth handle hardships with the way her nephew(?), Raphael’s Son, did. Many authors would try to make this contrast into a lesson. Instead, there is no judgement placed on either approach to dealing with life by the author. One could certainly argue that the lesson is to be gracious, persistent, and generous, but that isn’t the point of the story. Both sides of the family win and loose important things. Ultimately, the family line continues together. That is the important thing.
I don’t want to spoil the novel by giving to many details out. The novel does a splendid job of revealing all the details and connections at the perfect pace. It’s like the perfect stripe tease till the end!  I think this is a wonderful novel and highly recommend it. If you enjoy beautiful prose and thought provoking narratives, you’ll love this!

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