By: Adam Pelzman
Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Publication Date: April 2015
Reviewed by: Charline Ratcliff
Date: August 21, 2015
I’ve recently finished reading Troika, by Adam Pelzman and I found it to be a fast-paced and interesting read. Troika was certainly not your conventional, fictional, romance novel; instead the tale was filled with power and intrigue – while parts of it read like a dark and gritty Cinderella based love story with a third person thrown into the mix for dramatic effect.
Right off the bat, readers will meet Perla – one of the book’s three main protagonists. She’s twenty-three, attractive, Cuban, and she supports herself by dancing at night in a rather sleazy southern Florida strip club. She’s also desirous to make her life more meaningful – although she’s still struggling to figure out how to do so. There has to be more to life than dancing, right? Besides, it can be a dangerous profession, and what’s a girl to do when her looks eventually fade?
Next, enter Julian – the Russian orphan who was shipped over to the States; the determined boy grew up to become something other than just a statistic. He pulled himself up by his bootstraps and has made something extraordinary out of his life. He clearly doesn’t belong in the establishment he’s just wandered into, and yet for some reason he’s decided to stick around. Maybe it was his chance meeting with Perla this night – maybe she intrigued him more than she (or he) realized.
From here, Pelzman will take his readers on a literary journey through each character’s distant past, the near past, as well as the present. Pelzman seamlessly weaves his words from past to present and then back again; creating a kaleidoscope of experiences for each; etching out the footprints of who each has become, and the why behind it.
The reader will confront the characters’ childhood horrors and, like a fly on the proverbial wall, the reader will watch as each one learns how to overcome his, or her, past in order to learn the strength they will each need to deal with the challenges of their present, and future, lives. These three players come from completely different worlds, and yet, at the end of the day, it is their sheer strength of will that will ultimately bind them to one another.
Of course there is that mystery third character, but I will leave that one alone because the reader needs to discover that life, its hardships, and its journey for him/herself.
Quill says: Troika was an intriguing read. It offers a brutally honest look at a fictional world, and yet, how fictional is it really? A seamless read and one that is difficult to set down. Kudos to Pelzman for crafting such a riveting read to be his debut novel.