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Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite
Hawkins Lane by Judith Kirscht is a realistic novel about human nature, family, relationships, as well as prejudices in the society we live in. Hawkins Lane starts with Ned Hawkins and his brother sitting in the courtroom, awaiting a verdict at their father’s trial. Their father is charged and found guilty of first degree murder. The story then jumps forward a decade and we come across Ned Hawkins as a young man, shunned and almost ostracized by society as the son of a convicted murderer. However, things start looking brighter for him when he meets Erica Romano, who is new in town and is the first person to get to know and judge him based on himself, and not as the son of a murderer. The two build a life together and things seem to be going smoothly until Ned’s father is released from jail and re-enters their lives. Things quickly fall into a downward spiral after that as their daughter vanishes, his brother is found dead, and they each deal with the legacy of their past.
Hawkins Lane is written in a lyrical manner and the plot and characters are very realistically portrayed. The struggles and prejudices are described very empathetically. This is definitely an eye-opener of a novel in the sense that it reminds us that all of us as individual human beings ought to be judged solely on the basis on our characters and not on any external circumstances. I highly enjoyed reading this novel and, at times, it felt so real that I had to remind myself this isn’t a true story, but a work of fiction.