This Is How It Begins by Joan Dempsey

Into the Wild


In 2009, eighty-five-year-old art professor Ludka Zeilonka gets drawn into a political firestorm when her grandson, Tommy, is among a group of Massachusetts teachers fired for allegedly silencing Christian kids in high school classrooms. The ensuing battle to reinstate the teachers raises the specter of Ludka's World War II past―a past she's spent a lifetime trying to forget.

Radio host Warren Meck has been leading the Massachusetts campaign to root out anti-religious bias in public schools―but he believes in working respectfully within the political system, so he's alarmed and offended when his efforts are undermined by someone inciting violent action. Even worse, he fears the culprit is among his inner circle.

As Ludka's influential family defends Tommy under increasingly vicious conditions, a stranger with connections to her past shows up and threatens to expose her for illegally hoarding a valuable painting presumed stolen by the Nazis. Only one other person knew about the painting―a man Ludka's been trying to find for sixty years.

Compulsively readable, This Is How It Begins is a timely novel about free speech, the importance of empathy, and the bitter consequences of long-buried secrets.

Title : This Is How It Begins
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1631523082
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 399 pages


Nancy rated it ★★★★★

June 26, 2017

"Compulsively readable, This Is How It Begins is a timely novel about free speech, the importance of empathy, and the bitter consequences of long-buried secrets." from the publisher Only six years ago I saw a Christian church undergo a vicious split. It involved attacking the denomination for a so...

Joan rated it ★★★★★

December 22, 2017

I'm thrilled with early readers' reviews, and so excited to share that THIS IS HOW IT BEGINS will be out on October 3, 2017. I'd love for you to check it out, and if it looks like your cup of tea, please add it to your to-read shelf—that's such a help to me in spreading the word. The novel's getti...

David rated it ★★★★★

June 12, 2017

I just read an advance copy of this wonderful novel, and I suggest you pre-order it now, so you don't forget between now and October when it comes out. Also, you will be ahead of the game when everyone is trying to get a copy, and you already have it. If you get your reading matter from the libra...

Hyrum rated it ★★★★★

November 18, 2017

Joan Dempsey’s debut political fiction novel displays professional craftsmanship. She maintains several connected subplot lines that run throughout the book. The author explores today's sensitive ideological issues in comparative context to those of the late 1930s pre-war period in Warsaw. Scene...

Tonstant rated it ★★★★☆

September 30, 2017

In 1935, Sinclair Lewis wrote It Can’t Happen Here — a satire showing it sure can. With incredible ambition, Joan Dempsey follows Lewis’ example to illustrate urgent truths at a time of crisis. This Is How It Begins unites the “it” of the past with the “it” of today in ways people on the wrong si...

Story Circle Book Reviews rated it ★★★★★

September 04, 2017

As a Californian, it is hard for me to imagine twelve teachers in the San Francisco Bay Area getting fired because of their sexual preference. It doesn't make sense, yet the part of my brain lurking beneath my beliefs knows it could happen. Especially now. After all, the Holocaust started because...

Cayla rated it ★★★☆☆

September 06, 2017

Intelligent writing coupled with a timely subject. I won this through Goodreads Giveaways and enjoyed the writing most of all. This is definitely literary fiction, as there is lots to unpack within the pages. At times I did feel disinterested, since there wasn't always a lot happening to pull me...

Cathy rated it ★★★★★

June 22, 2017

A page-turner literary novel? Yup, that's what this one is, and it's excellent. The characters are interesting and believable, the political atmosphere is relevant and intriguing, and the plot resolution is fully satisfying. Much careful research went into the writing of this novel, and Dempsey h...

Barry rated it ★★★★★

October 02, 2017

This multi-generational novel reminds us how intricately and intimately the fabric of our lives is woven . Issues that touch us all are never farther than a door's threshold away. A family dedicated to service , education and preservation, with commitment and resolution, calls on the glue that ha...

Linda rated it ★★★★★

December 13, 2017

I enjoyed and was captivated and intrigued by “This is How it Begins ” by Joan Dempsey. The genres for this Novel are Historical Fiction and Fiction. Kudos to Joan Dempsey for weaving different layers into this story. There are two separate storylines. According to the blurb,” Compulsively readab...

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