September 1, 2020

Tal Neil­son does not believe his father Ger­i’s mys­te­ri­ous death was an acci­dent. Ger­i’s voice in his head is con­vinced it was per­fect­ly plot­ted mur­der. Geri may have built a drug empire, but he is sur­round­ed by a wife he no longer loves, a busi­ness part­ner he can­not trust, and a drug addict­ed son. Tal must decide whether he is pre­pared to fight for his lega­cy. When Tal turns to his lover, Ophe­lia, for sup­port, he has no idea that she car­ries a fam­i­ly secret. A duty to pro­tect Tal, even if it means risk­ing her life.

Born to serve. Trained by the Israeli mil­i­tary to kill. Ophelia.

One stormy night off the coast of Den­mark, six­ty years ear­li­er, binds two fam­i­lies for­ev­er and dri­ves their obsessions.

A mod­ern-day Ham­let set in Man­hat­tan, with twists and turns galore, to the very last page.

Discussion Questions

Cour­tesy of Nor­man Bacal

  1. A cen­tral theme of the nov­el, Ophe­lia, deals with par­ents and chil­dren. What is the impact of the desires of par­ents on the devel­op­ment of chil­dren and how are Tal and Ophe­lia impacted?

  2. Is it pos­si­ble that our view of God is impact­ed by life expe­ri­ence? How did the dif­fer­ent ways that Thomas and his cousin Paul sur­vived the Holo­caust, impact on their view of God in the universe?

  3. Is it pos­si­ble to be con­sid­ered right­eous, when your actions save oth­ers, even if your moti­va­tions are not right­eous? Con­sid­er the sto­ry of Geri Neilson.

  4. Through the course of the nov­el there is only one char­ac­ter who is true to her­self for her entire life. Should Tru­di Neil­son be damned for her impulses?

  5. The book title relates to a char­ac­ter who is not the lead char­ac­ter of the sto­ry. Why do you sup­pose the author made that decision?

  6. Who is the true hero of the nov­el, Tal or Ophelia?