Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Testimony - Sharon and Tom Curtis

For vibrant Christine Ludan, the six months apart from her husband has been a dark time. But now dynamic Jesse Ludan, Milwaukee's controversial reporter, is coming home. Christine yearns for their lives to flow together once again, just as their bodies melt in passionate embrace. But she dares not speak of Jesse's painful experience...and he is reluctant to intrude into her gentle world. They are united by a thousand shared thoughts and feelings, yet sometimes they seem
like strangers as they struggle to reaffirm the deeply felt joy that once bound them so intimately together.

Robin James is a pseudonym for Sharon and Tom Curtis. My book has a very different cover (much more discreet) and the authors listed in the cover were indeed Tom and Sharon. Since I couldn’t find an image of that cover online In decided to use this older one.

I was curious about this book because I have read several by the authors but all historical. This one is a contemporary and I wanted to know how they would do in a different period.

It’s the story of Jesse Ludan, a journalist who refuses to reveal his sources for a story and so is sent to prison for 6 months. When the story starts his wife, Christine, is getting ready to receive him home again, she hasn’t seen him for 6 months because he always asked her not to visit him.

Jesse comes from a loving Hungarian family, now living in the US, who fought for freedom in their native country and know the value of civil rights and liberties. Christine, on the other hand, comes from a privileged background, a ballet teacher with a trust fund that has enabled her to pursue her goals.

I think the first problem with this story is that one never really feels why Jesse and Christine fell in love; we don’t have a glimpse of what happened in the past to help them create the strong connection they have now. That makes it harder to understand how, in the end, they seem to overcome the problem too easily.

Then the book deals with some interesting problems like civil rights, the journalist’s right to protect their sources and how far should he go to protect them. By giving Jesse a Hungarian background, it also touches on immigration and how their voyage to America represents their desire to live in a free, democratic country.

Although I find all this very interesting themes, I find that the book was too short, and the characters not well developed enough, to make for a successful story. Jesse is from the beginning a very damaged character by his experiences in prison but all the anger he is feeling, and showing, for being locked up is not as well explained as I would have liked.

Grade: 3/5

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