Linda Zagon of Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “Jacobo’s Rainbow” by David Hirshberg, May 4, 2021
David Hirshberg, the author of “Jacobo’s Rainbow” has written an intriguing, intense, captivating and thought-provoking historical literary novel. The timeline for this novel is mostly the 1960’s, and goes to the past and future when it pertains to the characters and events. This is the time of “free speech” on campus, and Vietnam protests. This is also the time when people who are different are considered outsiders and treated differently. The author describes his characters as complex and complicated. There are betrayals and secrets.
Jacobo is the protagonist in this story and offers the reader a front row seat to the happenings of the time. Most of the people who meet Jacobo think that he is of Hispanic origin, not realizing that he is Jewish. Nevertheless, Jacobo is considered an outsider. When there are meetings of free speech, he joins a group, and is put in charge of documenting everything in a notebook. The Leader of this Free Speech Movement makes a point by doing some illegal and dangerous things. Mostly, Jacobo find himself accepted by other “outsiders”.
When things go wrong, Jacobo is blamed and accused and finds himself in prison. His choice seems to be prison or going to Vietnam. Jacobo constantly documents many things in Vietnam. The author discusses prejudice and anti-semitism. Also mentioned is there ate other”outsiders” that show bravery and courage.
The author discusses the importance of fairness, honesty, family, friends and hope. I would highly recommend this thought-provoking book.