Review: The Velvet Prison by Sheldon Friedman


Title: The Velvet Prison
Author: Sheldon Friedman
Date: September 14th 2016
Pages: 416
Publisher: Custom Book Publications

The Velvet Prison by Sheldon Friedman is a historical fiction book set in New York during the 20th Century, before the beginning of World War II. The plot follows the life of two people; Travis Kane, an artist, and Lindsay Wayne, an aspiring actress. They don’t have anything in common, except their wish to satisfy their beloved ones and to find their place in the world.

However, there’s a thread that links them. A thread which took root long time ago, when Travis’ mother, with his baby sister, left him and his grandfather.

Travis is an artist, though his grandfather has other plans for his nephew’s future. He wants to find out if he’s a valuable painter or if his are only dreams.

“No. There’s a difference. I’ll be immortal by what I create and leave, not because of what I am.”

He’s a good friend and nephew, but I think he hasn’t really expressed his anger for being abandoned by his mother. And this is the major problem in the book: the author didn’t delve deeply into the characters involved.

I still don’t understand why Hannah Kane took with her only her daughter, and not also her son. From what I read, she seems the kind of mom who wants the best for her sons. So I don’t think she would likely abandon her son so easily.

Another thing I didn’t like was the high number of characters who weren’t very important to the story: Sylvie, Nora Rickler, Monique, Kevin. I know that in real life we meet new people and we may bond or never see each other again, but I forgot the names of half of the characters of the story.

I loved Travis’ grandfather, he’s a strong man, with strong beliefs and he’s highly intelligent. Travis is the only family he has, after his own son died, and he cares very deeply for him, putting him above anything else.

“Life will always be a challenge, Lindsay,” her mother told her. “You meet challenges like you wake in the morning… you just do it.”

Lindsay was a good character, with a passion for acting. She loves her mother, but when the latter needed her daughter the most, she wasn’t there for her, as Lindsay was trying to become a professional actress, and this rubbed me the wrong way a little.

The book felt rushed in some parts, but the writing style was really good, with its detailed descriptions that weren’t too long. I finished the book in a few days, finding nothing wrong with the dates. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.


I recommend it to Historical Fiction lovers.

About the author

Sheldon Friedman, a resident of Colorado, recently retired as a practicing lawyer. He is also a playwright, having his play The Long Goodbye performed at a local theater in 2010. A recent play is in the hands of a producer and another play is to be produced in 2016.
A former college lecturer on legal topics, he has been writing short stories, plays and novels since the age of ten.



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