The ListenerThe Listener by Shira Nayman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I enjoyed The Listener quite a bit more than I thought I would at first.  While part of the story-line was fairly predictable, I was nonetheless caught off guard with the ending.  Yes, I rather liked the ending.  It left me with one of those ‘oh!‘ moments when I read the last paragraph… I like that feeling!

The Listener is certainly deserving of a four star rating here.  Shira Nayman has written, in her second novel, a most compelling story of human frailty.  Her treatment of the main staff and patient characters was especially well done, and she adds a nice depth to the secondary characters as well.

In The Listener, the author uses a descriptive and compassionate narrative style that easily engenders empathy in the reader for the characters Shira has created.  She deals with the subject of mental illness, both those being treated and the persons treating them, with an understanding and compassion that only one who has experience in the field can.

The author shows with a startling clarity that the casualties of war go far beyond those who served and their families.  The consequences of war are not unlike the ripples in a pond when one drops a stone in its center… spreading out and touching everything and everyone in their path.

None of us are immune from the fragile nature of the human mind.

I would recommend The Listener without hesitation.

Thank you.

Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw
Silverdale, Washington
22 June 2012

View all my reviews


About VeronicaThePajamaThief

Bio: Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw Born in Lisboa, Portugal to parents of Portuguese/Russian descent, Veronica Marie and her wife, Christina Anne, call the Pacific Northwest home, where the couple are “still very much on honeymoon!” When not teaching and finishing her own studies for a Masters in Sociology, Veronica writes fiction, primarily noir - "I love dark!". Her long fascination with noir fiction prompted Veronica to try her own hand at writing fiction several years ago. She has been published in Pulp Metal Magazine, The Lost Children: A Charity Anthology, the horror anthology 100 Horrors, from Cruentus Libri Press, Nightfalls: an End of the World anthology, Drunk On The Moon 2: A Roman Dalton anthology and Gloves Off: Near To the Knuckle's debut anthology. Veronica has also appeared in the inaugural issue of Literary Orphans magazine and her horror/urban fantasy short story SOUL TAKER was recently chosen for inclusion in Lily Childs' february femmes fatales, an urban fantasy/horror anthology. Veronica counts among her mentors - Carole A Parker, Lily Childs, Paul D Brazill, Richard Godwin, Joyce Juzwik and Vicki Abelson. She is currently working on the third draft of her first novel – a memoir – as well the second draft of her first fiction novel, a fantasy novel and the publication of a collection of her flash fiction and short stories. Lily's The Feardom and Vicki Abelson's Women Who Write Facebook writing group have both been a tremendous source of support and inspiration for Veronica. Veronica’s writings can be found at and, and
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