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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Newark Minutemen by Leslie K. Barry is a historical novel that is compelling and deftly written to capture an important moment in US history. Based on a true story in the 1930s and during the Great Depression, the narrative follows Jewish boxer Yael Newman who meets and falls in love with the daughter of a high profile German-American Nazi. The love between Yael and Krista Brecht is doomed from the start, considering the differences between Jews and Germans. Yael is devastated when Krista and her German fiancé leave for the American Nazi summer camp in Long Island, New York. But he is not ready to let her go, so he hatches a plan to rescue her. Things get even more exciting when the Jewish mob and the FBI hire Yael to go undercover and fight the German-American Nazis taking over America.
The story has a powerful premise that revolves around a forbidden love. But what makes this tale most interesting are the political hints and historical elements woven into it. Leslie K. Barry evokes a moment when America was very vulnerable, with enemies at her doorstep. The vigilance, intelligence, and bravery of the boxers are laudable traits that are characteristic of true patriotism. The setting is brilliantly constructed and expertly written, transporting readers to an America weakened by the Depression. The prose is gorgeous and the narrative is as suspenseful as it can get. Newark Minutemen is a fascinating tale of romance, revenge, and patriotism that features courageous patriots rising to defend America. This novel is as enthralling as any thriller, and as hard to put down, written with strong plot threads and a suspenseful romance that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.