MIRIAM THE MEDIUM

Rochelle Jewel Shapiro, Author
Rochelle Jewel Shapiro, Author . Simon & Schuster $23 (309p) ISBN 978-0-7432-4478-7
Paperback - 324 pages - 978-1-4165-7829-1
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If, round about page 40, you want to tell Miriam Kaminsky to stuff it up her aura, you're in good company. Her pharmacist husband, Rory, has had it with her well-meant new-age meddling in his business. As for their daughter, Cara, she figures no teen ever had a more embarrassing mom than this phone psychic with her flowing clothes and herbal remedies. Miriam could help support her family if she expanded her psychic business, but Cara certainly doesn't want her to. Yet first-time novelist Shapiro has a gift of her own; even the skeptical reader can't help believing that Miriam is wired differently from the rest of us. She sees her dead grandmother and her husband's deceased parents, hears sounds beyond the normal range of hearing and perceives the love her daughter feels for bad boy Lance Stark as a "pink haze." Poor, sweet Miriam! Why isn't life easier? Things will work out, of course, but only after Miriam must use her gifts to save Cara from freezing in the woods after she runs off with Lance. When Cara discovers her dead grandmother's sewing machine, it seems that she, too, has a gift: all she has to do is look at a piece of fabric to know what it should become. In addition to delivering touching wisdom about mothers and daughters, Shapiro also offers a sharp portrait of fastidious, appearance-obsessed Great Neck, N.Y. Agent, Caroline Carney at Book Deals Inc. (May)

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