Official Review: A Cobbler's Tale by Neil Perry Gordon

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 209
Joined: 13 Apr 2017, 07:21
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 92
2017 Reading Goal: 200
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 6
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 159
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Unremembered Victory by Dennis H. Klein

Official Review: A Cobbler's Tale by Neil Perry Gordon

Post by EmunahAn »

[Following is an official review of "A Cobbler's Tale" by Neil Perry Gordon.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review

Full of action and definitely captivating, A Cobbler's Tale by Neil Perry Gordon chronicles the journey of one Jewish family fleeing from war in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire to settle in the US.

It is the early 1900s and the Jews in the village of Krzywcza know that things are about to get worse and many are leaving their homes to settle in the US where they can escape persecution and provide better lives for their families. Pincus Potasznik is one such man but he is unsure his wife Clara will agree to his departure. He convinces her and soon he is on a ship headed to America. He meets Jakob on the voyage and they forge a long lasting friendship. Unlike Pincus, Jakob is fleeing from his past deeds and intends to start a new life when they arrive. While having to work full time to establish his shoe-making business and Jakob getting involved with gangs, Pincus has his hands full. Worse still, World War I is about to begin and Pincus might not be able to go back for his family.

I loved that the plot does not run out of action scenes and many are emotionally gripping. The book is quite fascinating as every turn consists of a riveting scene. In the first part of the book, the unfair treatment that the Jews receive from the authorities is quite evident and even after the Potaszniks leave their homeland and start their life in America, challenges follow them there. Jakob’s involvement with ruthless gangs makes the book even more fascinating as surprises occur.

The fact that it is loosely based on real events makes it feel more authentic. Neil Perry Gordon bases the story on his great-grandparents’ immigration experiences. Even though the plot has been changed to create room for more action, it still reflects the challenges that many Jewish families faced even before the start of WWI in the Austro-Hungarian region.

The characters are not perfect and each of them does what is required for them to survive which makes them relatable and appear real. Clara is daring and she is willing to do whatever it takes to save her family. She takes on the responsibility of leading her family when her husband is away and she does so remarkably. Pincus is ambitious and wants to provide his family with the best life that he can offer. Despite his shy personality, he risks his life many times to protect those that he loves. Jakob, on the other hand, values friendship even if he is caught up in illegal activities.

The editing of the book is well done and the plot is fascinating. A Cobbler's Tale by Neil Perry Gordon would appeal to readers who appreciate action-packed stories that contain the themes of immigration, survival and war. I rate it 4 out of 4 stars.

A Cobbler's Tale
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon | on Smashwords

Like EmunahAn's review? Post a comment saying so!
“Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real.”
― Nora Ephron

User avatar
Posts: 825
Joined: 22 Apr 2018, 10:01
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 11
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 80
Favorite Book: A Thousand Splendid Suns
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 140
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Stand Up! For Yourself by Jennie Msangi
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by Ever_Reading »

I love books that are based on true events, loosely or otherwise. They usually hit home much quicker than regular fiction. This story sounds interesting. I shall keep it on my radar. Awesome review, mate!
Here’s to books, the cheapest vacation you can buy.
— Charlaine Harris :techie-studyingbrown:

User avatar
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 10350
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2019 Reading Goal: 95
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 86
Currently Reading: Sunshine at the Academy
Bookshelf Size: 354
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Monster Hotel by Susan and Mark Kibbe

Post by kandscreeley »

This sounds quite fabulous. I love that it's based on actual events and that it's non-stop action. Those two have me wanting to read the book right there! Thanks for the wonderful words about this one; I'll be putting it on my ever-growing list!
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

User avatar
Posts: 493
Joined: 26 Apr 2018, 11:04
2018 Reading Goal: 25
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 160
Favorite Book: Will's Red Coat
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 80
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner
Reading Device: B00KC6I06S

Post by Britty01 »

I enjoy Historical fiction and this one centered pre WWI and during that time period appears to have a lot of action and interesting plots. The fact that it is loosely based on real characters adds extra appeal. Great review.

User avatar
Posts: 12
Joined: 01 Dec 2018, 15:29
Currently Reading: Sigfried’s Smelly Socks!
Bookshelf Size: 14
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Four Funny Potatoes! by Len Foley

Post by IsabellaCD »

I really want to read this! I have a branch of my family that is Slovakian Jewish, and I have always wondered about the kinds of things they went through during the time period in which this novel is set.

User avatar
Posts: 981
Joined: 12 Apr 2018, 17:49
2019 Reading Goal: 10
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 90
2018 Reading Goal: 5
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 700
Favorite Book: The Mister
Currently Reading: Dark Ghost
Bookshelf Size: 212
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Chauvinist's Guide to Modern Romance by Morris Rollins
Reading Device: B01CRGNO4S

Post by Amy+++ »

This book sounds like something history lovers would enjoy reading. Great review.

User avatar
Posts: 498
Joined: 04 Feb 2020, 11:47
2019 Reading Goal: 100
Currently Reading: The Daily Stoic
Bookshelf Size: 184
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz

Post by AvocaDebo621 »

The book seems quite fabulous. The fact that it is loosely based on real characters and true events, makes me really want to read this. Awesome review!🙂

User avatar
Stephanie Elizabeth
Posts: 2010
Joined: 18 Jul 2018, 15:41
2019 Reading Goal: 40
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 140
Currently Reading: Surviving the Business of Healthcare
Bookshelf Size: 119
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Blue Summer by Jim Nichols

Post by Stephanie Elizabeth »

This is a pull-at-your-heartstrings type of story about adversity and survival. I sincerely hope that the main character is able to get home to his family, despite the war looming. I like that the characters are relatable and flawed. Thanks for the great review!

User avatar
Leyla Ann
Posts: 294
Joined: 21 Oct 2019, 13:40
2019 Reading Goal: 100
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 15
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Killing Abel by Michael Tieman

Post by Leyla Ann »

Although I love action packed books, the realistic tint this one has makes me reluctant to consider reading it.
A little less than imaginary~

User avatar
Posts: 2579
Joined: 03 Jun 2017, 12:54
2019 Reading Goal: 300
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 96
2018 Reading Goal: 250
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 140
2017 Reading Goal: 200
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Favorite Author: Victor Rose
Currently Reading: Amethyst of Destiny
Bookshelf Size: 1048
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Peoushi: An American Legend by Michael F. McWilliams
fav_author_id: 78026

Post by Ferdinand_otieno »

This is an inspiring story about oppression, immigration, survival, war, and action in a captivating plot. The book has a free sample on Amazon Kindle and has an incitefully written OnlineBookClub review that highlights the book perfectly. Congrats @NeilPerryGordon on the BOTD.

User avatar
Posts: 703
Joined: 02 Jul 2016, 10:46
2019 Reading Goal: 60
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 101
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 28
Currently Reading: The Juicy Fruit Man
Bookshelf Size: 510
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Cat Detectives in the Korean Peninsula by R.F. Kristi

Post by Mmg8464 »

This sounds amazing. I love that the characters are not perfect because it makes them normal and believable. I also love historical stories that are based on new stories. Thanks for your review.

User avatar
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 2606
Joined: 26 Jul 2017, 01:48
2019 Reading Goal: 70
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 70
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 49
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 1225
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Secrets To Living A Fantastic Life... by Dr. Allen Lycka & Harriet Tinka

Post by Kibetious »

Wow, what an informative and enthralling review we have here! This sounds like a gripping story and I would like to read it. I wonder how the family found their new home and what struggles awaited them there. Thanks for the review.
​​​​​​He gives strength to those who are tired; to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy :techie-studyinggray:

User avatar
Posts: 258
Joined: 20 Dec 2019, 12:30
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 92
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Cardiology for Babies by Dr. Haitham Ahmed

Post by shannonkate8 »

This sounds like a wonderful and heartwrenching novel. I can't believe he left his wife on his first voyage. It must have been so incredibly difficult. I'll have to read this one!
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

User avatar
Posts: 947
Joined: 26 Mar 2018, 08:14
2019 Reading Goal: 60
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 50
Favorite Book: Dealing with Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #1)
Currently Reading: The Giver (The Giver, #1)
Bookshelf Size: 104
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: INTERPRET: What Do Plants Tell Us? by Tina Bone and Sylvia M. Haslam

Post by bb587 »

This book is based on the author's grandparents' experiences immigrating. The characters are flawed realistically. The action is gripping.

User avatar
Posts: 1358
Joined: 17 Apr 2019, 14:31
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 178
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Better Than Our Dogs by John J. Murray Jr.

Post by AntonelaMaria »

I like that characters are not perfect it makes them more relatable and real. The premise is really emotional. Good job with the review.
“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
The Minpins by Roald Dahl

Post Reply

Return to “Historical Fiction”