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Once We Were Brothers Paperback – October 8, 2013
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“This is as compelling a story as you would ever want to read...This book is different in its passion and its presentation. It is worth your time and you won't be disappointed. Once We Were Brothers is a new look at an old story, and it will stay with you long after you have finished it.” ―Jackie K Cooper, Huffington Post
"A novel of survival, justice and redemption... riveting." ―Chicago Tribune, on Once We Were Brothers
“The phenomenal triumph of lawyer-author John Grisham's legal thrillers has spawned surprisingly few successful emulators; however, Chicago attorney Balson's first novel, while featuring a young lawyer heroine, Catherine Lockhart, who sees her bar admission as a license to further justice, is no simple imitation of Grisham's entertaining potboilers..., this novel is uplifting and moving, intelligently written and featuring historically accurate context and an unusual insight into human character and motivations. Highly recommended for all readers.” ―Library Journal (starred)
“Balson does a number of things superbly: he crafts a highly readable plotline and makes great use of the Chicago backdrop…many will enjoy this gripping novel for its narrative drive and its emotional storytelling.” ―Booklist
“The author describes the atrocities of wartime Poland and the beautiful, eternal romance between Ben Solomon and his wife, Hannah. Balson's first novel is hard to put down.” ―The Jewish Book World
“A legal thriller...a reader knows he's writing from the inside. ” ―Chicago Jewish Star
About the Author
RONALD H. BALSON is a Chicago trial attorney, an educator and a writer. His practice has taken him to several international venues, including villages in Poland that inspired his first novel, Once We Were Brothers.
Top Customer Reviews
legal novel entitled, Once We Were Brothers, I knew that I just had to read it. If I
expected to read something along the lines of a Turrow, Grisham or Martini, legal
thriller, I was pleasantly surprised - it wasn't.
The story begins when Ben Solomon, an 83 year old retired city worker,
appears at the opening night gala of Chicago's Lyric Opera and puts a gun to the
head of Elliot Rosenzweig, an insurance magnate and one of Chicago's most
prominent citizens and philanthropists. We learn that the gun was unloaded and
Ben says that his motive was that he wanted to exposed Elliot as being an
impostor - that Elliot really was Otto Piatek, a former SS officer known in Poland
as the "Butcher of Zamosc". It was at this time that Elliot Rosenzweig declared
for the first time that he was himself a Holocaust survivor and definitely not an
SS officer. He then revealed his arm which bore a concentration camp tattoo.
Who would represent Ben? This crime was committed in front of hundreds of
people and Rosenzweig had been declared by the Mayor Chicago to be "Chicago's
Attorney Catherine Lockhart, who was working for one of Chicago's major
white collar firms, made the "mistake" that many attorneys do, by answering her
telephone. She was asked if she could do a favor for a friend - words an attorney
hates to hear.Read more ›
The book's premise described thoroughly in many other reviews is extremely compelling, and the shifting events from present-day Chicago to WWII era Poland and back create a tense narrative that makes for a page-turning read. It is not, however, an elegantly written book. I do believe, however, that this author shows great promise. I would read another of his books to see if he lives up to the promise suggested by this one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thought the book was very well written and really enjoyed seeing the story unfold as told in retrospect by Ben. Read morePublished 18 hours ago by Amazon Customer
This story is heartwarming, emotional, interesting, sad and tells of man's horrible treatment of fellow man. Also though, it shows the faith of one man to obtain justice. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Kindle Customer
A heart warming story of a Jewish family torn apart in war-torn Poland and their journey to America where one finds justice for the Nazi atrocitiesPublished 1 day ago by Karen S. Anderson
This book came highly recommended from friends who "loved" it. I liked but did not love it. What could have been a terrific story was awkwardly told. Read morePublished 2 days ago by KG
It is a rare book that I can't stop reading. This book is one of those.Published 5 days ago by jean stohlman