Nina Navisky has degrees in psychology and speech-language pathology, and her fascination with both fields permeates her writing. She’s interested in exploring motivations, particularly those that are unconscious or ulterior. Fond of instigating communication breakdowns between her characters, she revels in interruptions, assumptions, and misinterpretations. While she strives for realistic dialogue and engaging prose, she is delighted when a scene unfolds that allows her characters to leave words unspoken.
THE FORTUNE COOKIE WRITER
Dogwalker by day and fortune cookie writer by night, Marissa is broke. Blindsided by divorce and one year short of an Ivy League degree, she’s determined to go back to college to support her young son, Owen, who shows signs of both musical giftedness and—unbeknownst to her—mental illness. When a mysterious stranger offers her a week’s pay to cook dinners for Rose, an irritable widow in her apartment building, Marissa accepts, despite her misgivings. Sure, it’ll take a white lie or two to explain sudden nightly visits to a neighbor she doesn’t know, but she’d be a fool to turn down such easy cash.
But Marissa soon finds the task to be more difficult than she anticipated. Rose is ninety-three, tends to lapse into Yiddish, and has no qualms about slamming the door in Marissa’s face. While Owen struggles to keep his symptoms a secret, Marissa encounters clues to Rose’s past: a piano, silent for decades, yet still in tune; a locked case, resistant to all combinations; a child’s diary; and three hidden photos bearing an inscription. As Marissa’s concerns over Owen’s health mount, mystical forces seem to draw the two women together, and Marissa discovers a long-held, tragic family secret of Rose’s. Her present made clearer through the prism of Rose’s past, Marissa must recognize Owen’s burden, confront the conflicted relationships in her own life, solve the remaining unanswered questions of Rose’s past, and learn how to create good fortune for the three of them.
A MOSAIC OF GRACE
Pastor Lundstrom has two weeks to decide.
Soon he will preside over his daughter Gracie's wedding--a blessing he has long prayed for--but as the day approaches, he finds himself dreading its arrival.
Tim harbors a shameful secret: he has lost his faith. Revealing himself risks losing Gracie, his adored and only child; his baffling autistic grandson, Luke; his devout and kind-hearted wife; and the community he has nurtured at his small church. But the price of silence is steep. Performing the ceremony as a nonbeliever will taint Gracie's wedding and bind him forever to the secret that isolates him from those he loves.
Also burdened by the truth is Josephine Wallis, an accomplished physician who has yet to reveal her secret to her longtime boyfriend. Compounding her worries is the looming deadline of the wedding--will her intellectually disabled younger sister be able to live on her own when Gracie and Luke move out of the apartment the three now share?
A poignant exploration of the boundaries of trust and the repercussions of secrets, A Mosaic of Grace captivates with its skillful weaving of the lives of the Lundstrom and Wallis families as they wrestle with uncertainty and stumble towards acceptance.
Below are a sampling of reader reviews of my debut, pulled from my Amazon page.
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