Casa de Naomi:
The House of Blessing Book 1
Fifteen-year-old Naomi wants to practice her faith in public, find her uncle, and help him raise enough money to bring their family to America. To accomplish this she agrees to companion a blind, old woman whose family plans to tour Europe and settle in the United States. Her plans are thwarted when the woman passes away aboard ship, and Naomi is handed over to immigration. While she awaits her interview, an old Tía comes to Naomi’s rescue and offers to take her in. With nowhere to go and no one to turn to, Naomi agrees and unwittingly enters the country illegally.
This is Naomi’s journey from adolescence to womanhood, from frightened isolation and captivity to the noble status of heiress with a mission and responsibility many would shirk placed upon her shoulders. Along the way, she contends with piercing memories, hurtful loss, jealous opponents, a devious lawyer, and a curious priest. Through each step of this journey, she guards two secrets she dare not share with anyone, not even Chaz, the man she has married. Will she keep his love when he discovers who she really is? Find out in the first book of Paula Rose Michelson’s saga, The House of Blessing.
About the Author
Paula Rose Michelson is the founder of LAMB Ministries, which helps women recover from trauma and abuse through the effective use of scripture, and prayer. She leads a monthly writers group at Congregation Ben David in Orange, California, and serves with her husband, Ron, with Chosen People Ministries. The mother of two married daughters, and grandmother of seven grandchildren, when not writing, speaking, or teaching the effective use scripture, you will find Paula researching her next book or meeting with friends.
E-mail her at CasadeNaomi@PaulaWordsmith.com
MY REVIEW OF
CASA DI NAOMI, BOOK ONE
BY PAULA ROSE MICHELSON
Paula Rose Michelson wrote with brilliance her story of Naomi. To better understand the Spanish mind-set toward those of Jewish birth and faith, I recommend emphatically the reader peruse the Preface regarding Sephardic Voices as well as Historical Notes. This stunning historical information revealed intense research and study on Ms Michelson’s part that distinguish her talent and story above some others.
Naomi, being forced to live a lie by omission of who she really is, we meet as a young teenage girl beginning a peculiar lonely life in a strange new world. Her former world in Spain created about her grievous conditions for all of Jewish heritage and faith. This cruel and fearful prejudice against their religion forcing them to join the Catholic Church or face persecution, possibly death was a historical fact unknown to me in my naiveté that I find despicable, however vital to Naomi’s story all inclusive in Spanish Harlem.
Coming to the United States on a free passage with plans to companion the elderly lady she accompanied soon went awry when death takes the lady and Naomi is abandoned at Ellis Island. Facing deportment and trembling in terror at the unknown, God intercedes and sends old Tia, a compassionate woman that offers to give her residence in exchange for her services without wages. Seeing no other choice, Naomi accepts without the knowledge of now being an illegal immigrant.
Paula Rose Michelson weaves intriguing stories within stories about the residents of Spanish Harlem and their respectful adoration toward the mistress of the Villa, Tia’s friends and those employed by her to run businesses in the community knew little about Naomi. They believed her to be just another of Tia’s “ninas” sheltered from deportation in the Villa. Little did neither they nor Naomi know what Tia has in the offing for them all.
Eventually, mystery, suspense and intrigue grow intense when the old Tia (named Madre Vida) nears death and wills the Villa and all its responsibilities to Naomi. Madre Vida whispered many secrets of the Villa to Naomi, and revealed to her where she could find all the instructions she would need to run the Villa as Tia did at immigration saving the little ninas as Naomi was saved. Overwhelmed and frightened by all the turn of events, Naomi learns Tia had been planning Naomi as her replacement all along. With her fate sealed, Naomi considers this is the mission God equipped her for and stands strong, her fear of being discovered as a Jew in Spain still a haunting cloud. She determined with her inheritance of wealth and good reputation that no one would dare question her heritage. She began to feel freedom.
Alas, Padre Paul the Catholic priest and Madre Vida’s attorney Ralph Martinez become skeptical over Tia’s choice of Naomi as her successor and schemed to assure she would not be led astray. They agreed that Tia’s work must continue and decided to “marry Naomi off” to the right man with wealth and security. They set about finding the right potential husband for Naomi. Thus begins the sweet love story between Chaz and Naomi. Not that this union was without complications.
Evil lurks within the Villa with the arrival of Lola – a teenage girl rescued by Naomi at the most inopportune time. Lola intended to seduce Chaz and win him away from Naomi. Trampish and deceitful, Lola sets about snooping to find what would discredit Naomi. During my time spent reading this script, I argued aloud at the characters, trying to change their actions and reactions until I became hoarse and even woke my husband at night with my vocal cheering and recriminations.
The depth of Paula Rose Michelson’s imagination mingled with her knowledge of complicated truth in history made for one of the most interesting novels I’ve yet read. The conclusion of this story is one big hook of bait the size of an anchor – and you’ll be hooked!! You need to get Casa de Naomi, Book Two to find out what happens, or hang around until May when I’ll be reviewing Book Two! To Paula Rose Michelson, I say WHEW, What a story! Praise God for blessing you with compassion for such a situation.