Jeannie Glazer was three years old in 1952 when her father dies in a car accident on a trip to Atlanta. Sixteen years later, as a college freshman, she is arrested during the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. She is released hours later when a sergeant announces that her bail was paid by “her pop” and tosses her an envelope of cash. Stunned and suspicious, Jeannie tells no one, convinced someone is watching her. Determined to find answers, her search closes in on a darker secret about her father’s tragic death two decades earlier.
Cathy Rath has written a family saga that is both engaging and riveting. I like the way she devoted chapters to different family members, allowing the reader to learn about the life of each individual and gain a complete picture of the family as a whole and the dynamics that made them unique. I thought there was quite a lot of depth to each character, and I liked the fact that Jeannie was a determined young woman with not just a secret to uncover but someone trying to navigate life on her own terms.
I found the story to be wonderfully descriptive and very good at bringing in significant social issues of the time. I enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down. By the time I finished it, I felt that I had come to know the Glazer family inside and out. I wouldn’t mind reading more about what happened to Jeannie and how things turned out with Phil. I hope there will be more from Rath in the future. — San Francisco Book Review
Ripple Effect offers an appealing premise with a number of original strokes, and is accessible, tidy and clips along at an even pace. Rath's prose is forthright, clear, and supports the conventional storyline with characters that are satisfyingly relevant and multi-layered. Jeannie Glazer is equal parts self-absorbed and unsettled, while Hank Carlton's angst is sure to tug on readers' heartstrings. – Booklife Prize (Publisher’s Weekly)
"The pleasure of reading Cathy Rath's Ripple Effect is like the turning of a kaleidoscope: each chapter brings a burst of new revelations, each jump back and forth in time deepens the moral complexity of a story that is part political thriller and part family drama. At its heart is a dauntless and empathetic heroine, Jeannie Glazer, whose coming of age as an activist and truth-teller is both inspiring and emotionally affecting."
- Christopher Castellani, author of Leading Men
"I was hooked from the start by this compulsively readable narrative of family secrets.
- Jo Piazza, author Charlotte Walsh likes to Win
"A complex novel that dives into a daughter’s discovery of her father’s life and death during the 1960s student rebellions, it builds into an undeniably powerful story of regret and redemption."
-Joy Gould Boyum, author of Double Exposure: Fiction to Film
Born and raised in NY, Cathy Rath then ventured out west, completing her education at UCSB and SFSU where she teaches courses in public health. During the turbulent 1970s, Cathy was actively involved in a variety of protest movements, and Ripple Effect draws upon these profound experiences.
Get in touch if your book club selects RIPPLE EFFECT for its monthly read. Would be happy to attend Bay Area meetings in person, or sign in to ZOOM, FaceTime, WEB-X, etc. for live virtual discussion.
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