A Shot in the Dark

  • Review
By – September 18, 2023

Vic­to­ria Lee’s first for­ay into adult romance is a cap­ti­vat­ing love let­ter to self-love, heal­ing, and find­ing one’s place in Judaism. Read­ers can expect noth­ing short of a roller coast­er of emotions.

When we meet Eli­she­va Cohen, she’s just moved back to New York City for the art pro­gram of her dreams after spend­ing almost ten years in Los Ange­les. Hav­ing gone to LA to dis­tance her­self from her past, and to make an effort to become and stay sober, Ely finds her­self back in the place that threw her life into tur­moil. By chance, she spends her first night in the city with Wyatt Cole, a trans­gen­der man who is also sober. Every­thing is great, until Ely walks into class and finds out the man from the night before is her pro­fes­sor and artis­tic hero.

The mag­net­ism between Ely and Wyatt jumps off the page, bind­ing the entire plot. The deep con­nec­tion these two tal­ent­ed pho­tog­ra­phers share helps them cre­ate a space for heal­ing, and for let­ting go of guilt, as they each con­front their pasts. Ely, who was shunned from her Ortho­dox Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty and strug­gles to find her place in any Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty, decides to turn this con­flict into the focal point of her cap­stone project. She con­stant­ly grap­ples with the woman she is today ver­sus the one that Ortho­doxy raised her to be. She also won­ders what makes some­one Jew­ish enough,” a com­mon debate among many Jews today. 

Vic­to­ria Lee expert­ly cre­ates char­ac­ters that are diverse not only in the way they prac­tice Judaism, but also in how they express their sex­u­al­i­ties and gen­der iden­ti­ties. She posi­tions this sto­ry in the art world, using imagery to describe pho­tographs that are as pas­sion­ate as the char­ac­ters them­selves. A Shot in the Dark is for any­one who is look­ing for a deep­er, more lit­er­ary spin on the typ­i­cal romance nov­el. Read­ers will be cap­ti­vat­ed from start to finish.

Eliz­a­beth Slot­nick works in the tech­nol­o­gy space but has a grow­ing pres­ence on book­sta­gram, where she reviews books span­ning across all gen­res. She grad­u­at­ed from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Vir­ginia and lives in Seat­tle, WA.

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