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Vistas News, February 2022

Reviewed by JoAnn Mallory

The novella EREV The Evening Years of Reuben Gurewitz is another gem by an Alta Vista writer, Anne Shmelzer, about a retired physician who is at a crossroads in his life. Reuben’s story is told in vignettes of memories, observations, recalled conversations, and contemplation. Set in Ottawa, the novella fully captures the tangible essence of the city with its familiar streets and landmarks, and specific details.

As Reuben takes comfort in his home, daily prayers, regular walks, his synagogue, an illustrious career, and the ghost of his deceased wife, his thoughts range from current world affairs, his own mortality, and whether to move into a retirement home, or go live with his son Jonathan in California. On a whim, Reuben decides to visit his hometown of Belleville where his parents had settled after immigrating to Canada, and rekindles a relationship with his former fiancé Laura.

EREV The Evening Years has a lyrical, poetic prose that seamlessly connects Reuben’s consciousness and reflections, and the author brings a painterly quality to her descriptions of the natural world of “dense cascading Junipers” and “morning fog diffusing through a tangerine sky.”

Anne Shmelzer has written musical and academic papers for national libraries in Canada and France, and an award-winning memoir and precursor to her novel “A Marginally Noted Man.EREV The Evening Years of Reuben Gurewitz is Anne’s second novel.

More to follow soon!

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