Jewish Leaders Books

Publication Date:

Copyright Date:




Get the best author info and savings on services when you subscribe!

IndieReader is the ultimate resource for indie authors! We have years of great content and how-tos, services geared for self-published authors that help you promote your work, and much more. Subscribe today, and you’ll always be ahead of the curve.


By Martin Sneider

IR Rating:
Martin Sneider's AMY UNBOUND offers a portrait of a powerful family and proves difficult to put down. 
Everything swirls around Amy Feldman, attorney-turned-social justice advocate and wife to fashion CEO Joshua Feldman. Feeling overlooked by her husband and riding the high of a venture into campaign work, Amy decides to overhaul her life.

The title of AMY UNBOUND, the second book in Martin Sneider’s Feldman family series, couldn’t be more accurate. In this novel of personal and political intrigue, most of the drama swirls around Amy Feldman. She’s going through a moment of transformation, thanks to the double whammy of feeling neglected by her husband and riding the high of her contributions to Barack Obama’s first winning presidential campaign. She’s changing careers, leaving her past family role behind, rekindling her sexuality, and ready to flourish.

Her sense of possibility electrified, Amy’s journey leads her to find her place with the Chicago Alliance for Social Justice, far away from her St. Louis stomping grounds—and from her CEO husband, Josh. Their push and pull (Josh wants her back, while Amy isn’t remotely having it) is a constant thread, a tension always in the rearview, even while by all appearances Amy seems to have found a new path. As Amy’s story comes to a head, so too do the respective narratives of Josh and their daughter, Allie, an aspiring journalist with a bent toward activism. When all of their trajectories collide, they’re reminded of just how connected their lives are, as well as the importance of loyalty, trust, and each other.

AMY UNBOUND follows several characters, not just Amy and her family—as noted, this is part of a series that centers on the entire Feldman family. While Sneider offers a great deal of background information on each of the characters, readers may find themselves slightly lost in the twists and turns of this tangled web if they haven’t started with Shelf Life (the first installment in this saga). Still, the setup is very well-executed, and allows the suspense to build naturally and gradually.

And because Sneider’s sense of drama is strong, AMY UNBOUND is a page-turner. It’s reminiscent of an excellent soap opera or chaebol-centered K-drama—a kind of House of Gucci-meets-Succession. The author’s handle on the art of cliffhangers will keep readers guessing, and the more emotionally charged scenes are certainly standouts. Amy and Josh’s exchanges in particular are evocative, and make it clear the two have that particular something that keeps love alive—even as they struggle to understand one another.

That said, there are moments that show AMY UNBOUND might have benefited from another round of edits. Typographical issues, such as stray and missing quotation marks, are common and distracting. Exchanges with more stilted dialogue—where the story’s biggest strength, the drama, becomes a weakness—similarly take the reader out of the story. Some of them actually become more grounded and realistic as they progress, indicating that a revision might have made them truly compelling. One example is an early scene between Josh and his brother, Rand: “You’ve turned into a stranger, and I don’t believe you’re wired that way. It’s just the dark side of you, which we all have…you’re curt, almost humorless, and driven,” Rand says initially to his brother, a stark way of telling-not-showing what’s going on with Josh. But a few pages later, when Rand encounters devastating news, Josh is there for him in an incredibly natural and moving way. Unfortunately, this toggle somewhat detracts from the strength of the story, and makes getting through AMY UNBOUND more of a challenge than it would otherwise be.

Still, overall, this is a well-realized portrait of a powerful family. Sneider demonstrates throughout that he has a solid grasp on characterization and plot development, and sets his audiences up for a thrilling ride with the next installment of this intriguing series.

Martin Sneider’s AMY UNBOUND offers a portrait of a powerful family and proves difficult to put down.

~Jennifer Weatherly for IndieReader

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that IndieReader may make a commission if you use these links to make a purchase. As an Amazon Affiliate, IndieReader may make commission on qualifying purchase.