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Redemption Hardcover – July 6, 1999

2.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Howard Fast has written over 40 novels, everything from April Morning, a historical novel about the Revolutionary War, to An Independent Woman, the last book in his series about an immigrant family in California. In Redemption, the author dabbles in the world of suspense fiction.

Ike Goldman, the smart and gentle 78-year-old retired law professor who is the heart of the novel, is probably a version of Fast's current self--a veteran of all kinds of political and social wars who has opted for a quieter life of non-involvement. When he spots a woman about to jump from the George Washington Bridge late one night, he stops almost automatically to talk her out of it "because I've opened that door myself a hundred times..." But he knows that you can't really save a life that easily. What he's not prepared for is falling in love with a woman 30 years younger than him.

Elizabeth Hopper, the depressed and abused former wife of a crooked Wall Street wheeler dealer, is equally surprised and delighted by her growing love for Ike. They overcome differences in age and religion and plan a wedding. Then, six weeks after they meet, Elizabeth's ex-husband is found shot to death. A note written in lipstick matches her own brand; the gun used in the crime belongs to Ike, missing after a robbery. Goldman recruits one of his former students to defend Elizabeth, but as evidence of her apparent guilt accumulates his own doubts increase. We share those doubts, even though in our hearts we know that Howard Fast the novelist is too shrewd to let Ike Goldman live out his remaining years without the woman he loves. --Dick Adler

From Publishers Weekly

Veteran author of more than 40 books, octogenarian Fast (Spartacus; The Immigrants) pastes together courtroom drama with a May-December romance in this eminently readable but equally forgettable novel. Elizabeth Hopper is about to jump off the George Washington Bridge when retired Columbia Law professor Ike Goldman intervenes. Despite differences in age (he's 78, she's 47), religion (he's Jewish, she's convent-raised Catholic) and vocation (his is contract law, hers art history), they fall in love while sharing the Sunday New York Times, takeout from Zabar's and his Riverside Drive apartment. After two months, Ike proposes. Then Liz is arrested for the murder of her ex-husband, a violently abusive, dishonest investment banker. Though Ike loyally pulls together a defense team and support group from former students and colleagues, in his heart he cannot stop questioning her innocence. Poetic and courtroom justice triumph with satisfying if not always credible certainty as the black female public defender puts the aggressive prosecutor to shame. While the story is laid out with competence, the development is thin, especially the courtroom scenes. And the character portrayal is dangerously facile: Liz's evil ex-husband is nearly a caricature, the real murderer is a convenient walk-on. Even Ike lacks complexity: he is another of Fast's righteous heroes, Liz another good woman who just needs a man to protect her. Threatening their love, and the story's pace, is Fast's penchant for inner dialogue, which makes the reader yearn for the muscular prose and fiery idealism of Fast's early work. Literary Guild selection. (July)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1st edition (July 6, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0151004552
  • ISBN-13: 978-0151004553
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #753,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While I've enjoyed several of Howard Fast's works, and this one was no exception, I only gave it four stars because it fell a little flat. The characters were rounded but still had some sharp edges and barely discernible holes. The pace was good and he shed some light on aged love. By this I mean his main character often claims that he is too old for the fatuous love of youth, his actions betray this, and he regularly dwells on the precipice of outright “puppy” love. All in all REDEMPTION is a well told story, and the pages turned easily, but not gripping to the level where I can justifiably rave.
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Format: Hardcover
Thanks Howard Fast for a great read! I was very moved by the May-December love story of Ike Goldman, a 78 year old widower, and 47 year old divorcee Elizabeth Hopper. When he saves her from suicide on the George Washington Bridge their lives are both changed forever.I found their relationship very moving and believable as they each fulfill a great need for one another. When Eliabeth is accused of the murder of her abusive ex-husband and put on trial the plot becomes very suspenseful and gripping. I enjoyed this book thoroughly, found it very thought-provoking and did not want to put it down until the very last page. I recommend Redemption to one and all......
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Format: Hardcover
I was disappointed in this book by Howard Fast, yet found myself finishing it. His lack of imagination in vocabulary matched his lack of imagination in the courtroom scene. I was hoping not to have to read another "wonderful" or "sweet" or "too old" or "I love you so much". Even the proofreader needed help --- missing quotation marks for instance. Yet, perhaps for people in their seventies who hope for true love and a return to a zest for life, this would be a good book.
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Format: Hardcover
I must have been having a nostalgic moment, trying to recapture the enjoyment I felt reading The Immigrants back in the 70's, when I purchased Howard Fast's latest book Redemption. It was NO Immigrants and I wasn't able to capture much enjoyment. The one redeeming thing about Redemption is that it's a quick read.
Ike Goldman is a 78 year old widow who was once a law professor at Columbia University. Riding home one night from an engagement, he sees a young woman who he believes is getting ready to jump off the George Washington Bridge. He, of course, convinces her not to jump and, as a result, feels responsible for her. She is Elizabeth Hopper, ex-wife of wealthy investment executive William Sedgwick Hopper. When he is found dead in his office, all fingers are pointed at Elizabeth. By this time, Ike has fallen for 45 year old Elizabeth and uses all his connections to have her represented in the best way possible. While this May to December romance was sweet in some ways, it bordered on the unbelievable -- older man saves younger woman's life and the result is they fall in love. It should only be so easy.
I guess you could categorize this book as romantic suspense. While Ike is having his own doubts about whether or not Elizabeth is guilty, so is the reader. Fast is definitely a skilled writer but this book is nothing compared to those generational sagas that made his name so synonomous with that genre many years ago.
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By A Customer on October 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I hate to sound like an echo but I have to agree with the previous reviewer who found the book to be rather unimaginative but finished it anyway. I felt the same way. It was entertaining and kept me turning pages but all the while I was cringing at the unoriginal and unrealistic dialogue and waiting for a surprise twist of some kind. The best way to describe this book was as a light, easy read that was interesting but not truly memorable.
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