Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “Shrug” by Lisa Braver Moss, She Writes Press, August 13, 2020, for Suzy Approves Book Tours
Lisa Braver Moss, the author of “Shrug” has written an intense, captivating, memorable, and thought-provoking novel. The genres for this book are Coming of Age, Domestic Fiction, with some Historical Fiction. The timeline for this book is set in the 1960s. There is a theme of popular music of the times and classical music, and I was thrilled to see some Beatles songs and others mentioned. The story takes place near Berkley, and there are mentions of riots and tear-gassing. The author also discusses domestic violence against children and spouses. The author describes the characters as complex and complicated. The family is dysfunctional, and some of the characters are unbalanced and mean-spirited.
The Goldenthal family is a highly dysfunctional volcano that is waiting to erupt. Unfortunately for the children,Martha, Hilda, and Drew, they witness the physical and emotional abuse from their father Jules, and their mother Willa. Martha tries her best in school as she is growing up, and she excels at singing and playing the violin. Martha develops a nervous habit of a “shrug”, Hilda and the youngest Drew also are pretty much fending for themselves.
Through Martha’s narration, we see the difficulties and troublesome times, and how friendships are so important. I appreciate that the author discusses issues of family abandonment, and how emotional and physical abuse can affect children. I would recommend this powerful, deep, dark, memorable, emotional and thought-provoking story.