Book Title: Caged
Author: Erik S.
Release Date: February 2,
Genres: LGBTQ Jewish historical fiction
Tropes: Struggling to be yourself in a place/time that doesn’t really want
Themes: Coming out, being yourself
Heat Rating: 4 flames
It is a standalone book and
does not end on a cliffhanger.
David Tarniss faces his
desire and his faith
In 1930s New York, David Tarniss leads a quiet life as a cab
driver-too quiet. In reality he is hiding a dark secret, his homosexuality, something for which
he will pay dearly due to the unique circumstances of the time.
A fascinating, if disturbing, story about the challenges that
confronted gays (and Jews) in 1930s New York.
In 1930s New York, Jewish immigrant David Tarniss leads a
quiet life as a cab driver—too quiet—In reality he is hiding a dark secret, his homosexuality,
something for which he will pay dearly due to the unique circumstances of the time.
Based on the author’s fictional interpretation of a family
tragedy, “Caged Time” is an attempt to explain how society can mold who you are and
significantly impact your life. The novel focuses on a small group of characters that all have
key significance in David’s life, the people that most affect what he does, how he thinks, and
how he lives. The setting of the novel is even more impactful as it plays out in the context of
a pre-World War II society haunted by the looming war. Most of the characters are Jewish,
bringing another angle to the events.
Whenever things seem to be moving forward, David faces a
setback. Whether being shunned by his brother when he reveals who he is, haunted by a
strange encounter with a friend, or being beat up when he least expects it, he’s always
taking two steps forward and one back. But he always seems determined to go on.
A fascinating, if disturbing, look at the challenges that
confronted gays (and Jews) in 1930s New York with a glimmer of hope at the end.
David hurried down Eighth Avenue, his usual brisk New York walk that his relatives often
scolded him about, saying he was being antisocial and not walking with them. Well, he just
walked fast; it didn’t have anything to do with being social or antisocial. He whizzed past
stores, restaurants, and coffee shops, full of people as they chatted with their friends on this
cool Saturday morning—summer at its weakest point with fall just around the corner. He
was content wearing his checkered coat, although a brisk wind came up countering the sun’s
warmth and he thought he maybe should have brought a scarf.
As he approached Union Square, that nervous, giddy feeling hit him, and he began to shake
from the thought of what was to come. Though he had tried to compose himself while on
the train and walking down the street, as soon as he got nearer to Child’s, his palms started
sweating and his pace quickened. Somehow he felt couldn’t help but feel ashamed about
being who he was and the thought of meeting with others of his kind, as it were, made him
shake. He really wanted to meet someone. His nerves often held him back. But not today!
I don’t have anything to be nervous about, David told himself. I come here every Saturday.
Today I just have a different goal in mind.
At that moment he arrived at Child’s, his favorite coffee shop, and peered in the window,
half expecting everyone to stop what they were saying or doing and turn their heads at him,
as if they were all waiting, watching. Of course, the thought was ridiculous, and no one did
anything of the sort. He slowly reached for the handle, staring more at it than the interior,
his heart beating rapidly and his fingers twitching in anticipation. Or is it fear? David
Then, with a rush, he pushed open the door, strode inside, and quickly found a booth near
the door, which meant, like many of the other men inside, he was waiting, watching…and
hoping. The place wasn’t that big with only a few booths along the walls and several tables
in the middle, so David was happy to have the perfect vantage point.
About the Author
Currently in Austria, Erik
Meyers is an American abroad for years and years who has lived or worked in six countries
on three continents, the longest in Germany. I’m an award-winning author and
communications professional with 25 years of expertise in a variety of corporate roles.
Reading and writing are my passions, when I’m not hiking one of the amazing trails in Austria
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