There’s a woman I know who was born missing one hand. She was fitted with a prosthetic, which I’m sure she wore, while she was single, whenever she was in public, and especially while dating. But now she is baruch Hashem happily married and the mother of a lively brood, and I suppose she feels no one is judging her anymore. Add the fact that she finds the prosthetic to be bothersome and uncomfortable (she has taught herself to do everything using just one hand)—and she decided to give up wearing it.
So if you’re walking past her on the street, you’ll see a regular frum lady pushing a baby carriage with one hand, while the sleeve of her other arm dangles loosely past the wrist, at her side. If you’re cringing while reading this, believe me when I tell you that, while talking to the woman, you hardly even notice her birth defect. She’s so normal and natural about it—you just end up focusing on her, as a person, rather than on her missing hand.
Zevi Bloch, on the other hand (pun unintended!), does not operate like that. Although his deformity is much less obvious than this woman’s, entailing missing toes rather than a missing hand, Zevi is so self-conscious about it that his roommates and friends can’t help but be suspicious. What major secret could Zevi be hiding beneath his socks and shoes, both of which seem to never come off his feet?
And it’s not just Zevi who is self-conscious about it. Shoshie, his mother, is consumed with shame about her son’s deformity…and no small amount of guilt, too. She is sure Zevi’s whole accident happened only because of her…
Interest piqued? It certainly should be, because this novel is not your typical story! It’s suspenseful and emotion-laden and humorous and well-written…everything you’re looking for in a great book! So go ahead and treat yourself to Without a Trace—a book that will provide you with a whole lot of reading pleasure!
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