top of page
  • gilbertj4

New Interview with Ben Shepherd "For Books"

Theme: The best books about understanding and misunderstanding each other

Why am I passionate about writing?

I have had two careers and two lives. Beginning as a historian of American culture, I have become a writer of fiction. That I have turned to fiction now is because I have so many of my own stories to explore and relate. And what I love most about writing novels and the short pieces I compose is the possibility to create living characters who sometimes surprise me with what they believe and do, but always, I know, emerge from the very deepest corners of my imagination and the issues that I feel compelled to examine and resolve.

I wrote...

The Legacy

What is my book about?

My book is a novel of concealment and misunderstanding.

Set in contemporary Chicago, in an elite law firm, Adam Chauncey, a junior associate must execute the will of a wealthy investor. With his assistant, Sally Warren, he realizes the testament is puzzling and incomplete. Their questions lead them to search for the intended heirs, taking them from the wealthy North Side suburbs to the immigrant sections to the South. What they uncover is not just another will, but the complicated history of a family bound together by an adoption and a secret affair. When they confront the senior partners with their discovery, they must choose between participating in a cynical cover-up or revealing what they have found and ending any future in the firm.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The books I picked & why

Why did I love this book?

I loved this book because it marvelously portrays the unintended and harmful effects of social class.

Everything about this work, including the dialogue, the setting, and the characters, is compelling. I think its lasting effect was to impress upon me the way an author can write about something tragic and sad and yet leave me with the feeling that I have encountered a great story.

Why did I love this book?

I have always considered Philip Roth to be a master stylist and, even more, a brilliant author of the way that characters think and feel. This book is also wonderful for the way its ironies unfold in a story that is riveting, disturbing, and revealing.

I am intrigued by the way that Roth can confront important social issues. Even though this was written several years ago, I find it to be particularly relevant to the debates about diversity that seem to concern us most as a society today.

Why did I love this book?

I love this novel for its ability to describe a very small world as if it were the most important place in the universe. It captures perfectly the way in which people, visited by enormous tragedy, are able to reconstruct lives that are full of richness and humor. 

Why did I love this book?

This amazing book reveals how a single mistaken perception, influenced by jealousy, envy, and the snobbery of social class, can wreak havoc on so many innocent lives.

McEwen writes with great delicacy and passion in constructing a story in which it becomes almost impossible to atone for a terrible accusation that cannot be rescinded. 

Why did I love this book?

This marvelous historical account of the American Ambassador to Germany during the first years of Hitler’s dictatorship describes the growing recognition (and horror) of a very perceptive and sensitive diplomat and his fruitless efforts to inform the American Government of the danger of what was happening in Europe.

Above all, I was impressed by the depiction of the efforts of this intelligent man to break through the blinding prejudices of American bureaucrats in Washington to warn them of desperate events occurring in Germany.

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Master Storyteller?

Review of The Legacy Post by Kajori Sheryl Paul » 04 Nov 2023, 17:28 [Following is an official review of "The Legacy" by James gilbert.] Book Cover5 out of 5 stars Share This Review


bottom of page