With thanks to Summerside Press and The B&B Media Group for my review copy
Two babies—Kati and Josh—are born on opposite sides of the world at the very moment the Berlin Wall falls. You’d think such a potent freedom metaphor would become the soundtrack for their lives, but nothing could be further from the truth. Despite his flawless image, Josh, an artistic and gifted California skateboarder, struggles to find his true role in the world, and his growing aggression eventually breaks him.
Kati, a German with a penchant for classic Swiss watches and attic treasure-hunting, is crushed with disappointment for never being “enough” for anyone—most especially her mother. Craving liberation, Kati and Josh seem destined to claim their birthright of freedom together. After all, don’t the “chance” encounters transform your life…or are they really chance?
David Housholder’s debut novel is one of thought-provoking depth and wonder as the pages slowly peel back the layers of Josh and Katie’s lives as they run parallel to each other yet continents apart. The Blackberry Bush is one of those stories that settles slowly in your mind and leaves you with plenty to contemplate, not only as you read it, but for some time after the last page is turned. With an angelic narrator, multiple points of view and a literary bent, it may take some adjustment for readers used to more traditional tales. That said, the challenges are easily overcome as the strong storytelling captivates and intrigues from beginning to end. As the author takes the reader back in time to the choices of generations past and reveals the impact of those choices on Katie and Josh, a unique coming of age story is exposed, physically, emotionally and spiritually. With two levels of discussion questions at the end, this book is especially suited to book clubs and study groups, with plenty of layers to examine and contemplate.