Born and raised in New York City, Cynthia Holz is also the author of three other novels, Onlyville, The Other Side and Semi-detached, and the other short story collection Home Again. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies. She now lives in Toronto with her husband and son.
A Good Man
When his best friend is murdered in a fit of jealous rage, Izzy Schneider is compelled to reconstruct the relationship and exhume a hidden past that tests the authority of truth and weighs the burden of history. In A Good Man, critically acclaimed novelist Cynthia Holz examines Izzy’s complex lifelong friendship with Phil Lewis. Izzy escapes from Nazi Germany as a young man, leaving behind his family, who later perish in the Holocaust; Phil, a war hero, stays and fights with the partisans and saves hundreds of lives. For the rest of his life, Izzy suffers constant, unbearable guilt because he did not remain to fight like his friend Phil, and because his family is lost forever. Izzy’s daughter, Eva, tangled in the legacy of Phil’s good life and Izzy’s shame, struggles to understand her father and to make amends for a secret love affair that threatens to tear both families apart.
A superb story of loss and regret, A Good Man explores history distorted through the shaded lens of time.
There is a compelling contemplative lilt to Holtz's prose, regardless of viewpoint, and the novel garners its heft and eloquence from this consistent thoughtfulness.
The novel has a solid structure and is well-crafted, like a tailored shirt or a good meal, with loving attention to detail. Narrative and dialogue flow easily, and both minor and major characters come to life...Holz's books is a worthy addition to the growing literature (fiction, memoir, commentary) on the Holocaust and its ongoing effects.
Written with power and precision...a clear-eyed, passionate examination of heroes, victims, villains and survivors...an uncensored landscape where the truth shifts, the story changes, depending on who's telling it, and the memories, and sometimes the lies, by which we define ourselves are unmasked.
...Holz should be congratulated on tackling complex questions in a seemingly effortless manner...it's an accomplished work...
...Holz has eked out a fresh and dynamic voice for her story.
...[A Good Man] is a steady, detailed and honest portrait...well worth reading for its highly credible version of a particular slice of the real world.