A Goddess Among Men


Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
444 Pages
Reviewed on 04/04/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Born in 1969, Brazil, Daniel Davidsohn's novels have been called exciting, gripping, and engrossing, garnering him praise and rave reviews. He is passionately attracted to unfamiliar things and enjoys taking readers off the beaten path. His books include From The Nile to The Euphrates (2009), Mare Crisium (2015), A Higher Power (2016), The Karma Code (2017), Leave Her Out, a 2018 Readers' Favorite Book Award Finalist, and A Goddess Among Men (2020).

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

A Goddess Among Men is a work of fiction in the family saga and interpersonal drama sub-genres and was penned by author Daniel Davidsohn. Set in varying and juxtaposing landscapes, from the wilds of the Amazon rainforest to the cut-throat world of high society in New York, this is a drama like no other. Our central figure is Christel, who is raised by one half of an incredible duo of men who build an empire out of a chance meeting in the Amazon in 1907. Growing up as an heiress is harder than it seems, and when it is Christel’s turn to face the results of the deeds of the men who raised her, a lifechanging choice awaits.

Readers who enjoy literary-style writing, but with all the turns and twists of a full drama plot are certain to devour this lavish and exciting work by author Daniel Davidsohn. One of the most impressive elements for me was the character development of Christel herself, who could so easily have followed the tropes of a typical beautiful lead female, but has several layers of depth and emotional heartache that she works through as the novel unfolds. The plot is revealed at a great pace to maintain intrigue for the sins of the past, but it also has plenty of surprises and revealing interactions along the way that astute fans will pick up on. Overall, A Goddess Among Men is a very enjoyable work and is not to be missed by fans of high-quality writing and accomplished drama.

Liz Konkel

A Goddess Among Men by Daniel Davidsohn is a thrilling journey that evolves from two men building an empire to one’s daughter as she endures twisted horrors. Starting in 1907, Julian Welch and Alan Reid are drawn together to form Reid & Welch which brings them great wealth through a corporate empire. Julian falls in love with the lovely Jandira while Alan makes a deal with a stranger that’s part of a mysterious government organization. In part two, Julian marries his second wife who delivers him a daughter named Christel, who upon his death is left in the care of Alan. Only Christel’s upbringing isn’t what Julian had in mind as Alan subjects her to a series of experiments. As the corporation begins to flounder, it’s up to Christel to save everything her father built and to answer for decisions made in the past.

Daniel Davidsohn weaves through three generations separated into three parts that take the characters through various eras starting in 1907. Each has various time periods in the background as the plot focuses on the evolution of a company as it becomes an empire. Part one explores the rubber tapping boom which is where Julian and Alan receive their wealth and is an important backdrop to the choices these two characters make. Each chunk of time is seen through the tone Davidsohn sets with dialogue and descriptions that bring each decade to life. Part two jumps ahead to after the Great Depression and War World II with the two events a distant haunting presence over the characters and the story. The perspective shifts from Julian to Christel using the second part as a transition into Christel’s story as she, like her father, becomes a victim of Alan’s schemes and chaos when her life is degraded into that of a subject in an experiment. Christel explores her own power and struggles through being haunted by the past which drives her forward. As the story shifts out of one decade and into another, the tone shifts along with the change in society, weaving a plot with dramatic moments and thrilling twists. A Goddess Among Men delivers a generational tale of struggle, power, and wealth that will appeal to those that enjoy in-depth and well-rounded historical reads.

Romuald Dzemo

A Goddess Among Men by Daniel Davidsohn is a compelling story with a fascinating setting in the Amazon rainforest. It starts in 1907 when Julian Welch and Alan Reid meet and eventually start Reid & Welch. After the death of Julian, the company is left to Alan and Christel, Julian’s daughter. Christel is subjected to the harshest treatment and experiences a lot of trauma from Alan. But she is determined to survive and her invincible will sees her through the trying period. She wants a future that is different from her painful past, so she gets to work on it. When the past catches up with her, she will have to choose to be a victim of the sins of her father or to shape her destiny differently.

This is a novel that is complex in plot and character. It is written in prose that is fluid and compelling, with imagery that grips the imagination of the reader, transporting them to unique places in the Amazon. The characters are sophisticated and elaborately developed. Daniel Davidsohn lays down a powerful background to the story and with deft handling of plot, he moves on to develop a protagonist that readers will root for. The themes of corruption, family, and redemption are expertly developed in this spellbinding read. A Goddess Among Men is a story that follows one woman’s strength amidst the vicissitudes and challenges that life throws at her, refusing to be broken by pain. The realism and humanity infused into the characters had me feeling as though I was with people I already knew.

Grant Leishman

A Goddess Among Men by Daniel Davidsohn takes us on an over a century-long journey through the lives of three generations of what was to become a very rich and powerful family. When Julian Welch was dumped on an Amazonian dock by the ship taking him on his journey to seek his fortune in Brazil, he could hardly have envisaged where that voyage of discovery would eventually lead him and his family. Once the meek and mild Julian meets the ruthless and determined fortune-seeker Alan Reid, the die is cast that will lead the pair deep into the Amazon jungle in search of the wealth-generating and sought-after rubber tree but most importantly, in a search for their destiny and future. From Brazil to New York and places in between, this pair will build their burgeoning empire into a formidable player in the world financial markets but at what personal cost to Julian, Alan, and their descendants?

A Goddess Among Men is a fascinating tale of derring-do in the untamed wilds of the Amazon rain forest. Daniel Davidsohn has a writing style that is smooth, fluid and compelling. I found this story impossible to put down and completed it in just one sitting. The author’s descriptive prose of especially the rainforest, its flora, and fauna, as well as its native peoples, transported me there. I was beside the two men as they fought against horrifying deprivation and local political corruption to establish themselves in an industry where a few made a fortune and the rest either perished or were paupers, struggling along trying to survive each day. I particularly enjoyed the strong female leads in the story, especially the women that would steal Julian’s heart. All the characters were flawed and yet the author was able to arouse the reader’s sympathy and empathy even for the thoroughly crooked and, at times, despicable Alan Reid. If you like stories of generational power and wealth, this one will be right up your alley. I thoroughly enjoyed A Goddess Among Men and can highly recommend it to a wide audience.

Deborah Lloyd

Harvesting rubber in the Amazon jungle was a growing and profitable venture in the early twentieth century. An Englishman, Julian Welch, and an American from Texas, Alan Reid, met in Manaus, Brazil. During their first working venture in the jungle, Julian contracted malaria and married the nurse who brought him back to good health. Julian and Alan formed a partnership and became wealthy entrepreneurs. But corruption and greed permeated the industry - and the partnership. When Julian dies, he leaves specific directions for the care of Cristel, his baby daughter. However, Alan has another plan that has devastating consequences for Cristel. A Goddess Among Men, written by Daniel Davidsohn, chronicles the fascinating life of this daughter.

This book is written in three parts – the early twentieth century; 1948; and 1978. Each time period is described in detail and includes changes in the lives of native Amazon tribes, the lives of the wealthy in New York City and other countries, and corporate power. The character of Cristel develops and changes over the years and is an accurate portrayal of an abused person. The author also shows resilience, generosity, and strength of the human spirit with her and other characters in the story. The writing is crafted skillfully, especially as the characters move forward, decades at a time. The plot also has dramatic shifts, engaging the reader throughout the novel. This book is a page-turner, a very compelling read. Author Daniel Davidsohn has written a gripping, complex novel in A Goddess Among Men.