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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Leah's Choice is a contemporary fiction novel written by Patricia M Jackson. Leah Loven had gotten her masters and had begun doctoral work in micro-chemistry to follow her dream. She even spent two years at a prestigious school in Paris, but all the education and bright dreams seemed to have led to nothing more exciting than taking photographs of candles in an attempt to capture on film the ideal flame shape for her job at Pioneer Candle. Like just about every other wage earner, she lived for the weekends and wondered if they’d ever actually come around.
Then her grandfather, the founder and CEO of Loven’s Bakery, suddenly died at his desk, and Leah was stunned. He had been like a father to her after her own dad died. When she was summoned to the offices of Grandpa Morty’s lawyer, Saul Goldstein, for the reading of the will, Leah suspected that her grandfather had cooked up something to do with her future. Her grandmother had hinted of it to her as they consoled each other. The will was fairly cut and dried, and Ben Stratton, the son of Morty’s founding partner, was named his executor, but the disposition of Loven’s Bakeries would be disclosed only to Leah, in private. As the others left the room, Leah’s questions were soon answered when Saul Goldstein played the CD Morty Loven had prepared. Morty gave his granddaughter two options to consider, and he only gave her five minutes to do so. Somehow, Leah knew he was counting on her to make the right choice.
Leah's Choice is a well-written and engaging story about a family business making bagels and challah bread for the Jewish community in Philadelphia, and the granddaughter who must decide whether to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps and head up his currently floundering company. I loved getting to know Morty’s widow, Leah, and Ben Stratton, and following them as they sat shiva helped me feel as if I got to know Morty as well. Jackson’s story felt like coming home in so many ways. Will Leah accept the challenge her grandfather offers her, and can she and Ben Stratton actually find common ground? I had a wonderful time finding out. Leah’s Choice is a feel-good novel that works so very well. It’s most highly recommended.