The concept of a saint does not exist in Judaism. Instead, we honor Tzadikim meaning, righteous ones. It is said that every generation gives rise to at least thirty-six Tzadikim, and through them our world receives the divine vitality that pushes it forward and away from the abyss. I always felt certain that Zhila was a Tzadikim, paving a righteous path toward love, honesty, and justice.
The Lip Reader tells Zhila’s story.
The Acquisitions Editor at Paper Angel Press had this to say: It’s so vivid, so earnest, so honest, so full of love and luminous intelligence, so lacking in mean spirit even as it treats some of the deepest horrors of life with total clarity and resolution. I’m not ashamed to say that even this much-scarred, stoical woman is weeping freely. The world must have this book.
I Love Unique Books had this to say: “The Lip Reader is a masterpiece you wouldn’t want to miss for anything!”
Natalie Soine from Reader’s Favorite gave this 5-star review: The Lip Reader by Michael Thal is well researched and written with a wonderful variety of characters, places, and events. Zhila’s bravery, dedication, and determination are beautifully captured. I especially enjoyed the smooth flow of the story and the constant pace throughout, following the lives of Zhila, her friends, and her family. The novel is well edited and easy to read with vivid descriptions and scenes which make it easy for the reader to form a visual of the story. Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable novel, highly recommended.
“It’s not what you get in life, it’s what you give back that truly defines you.”
Set in Iran during the 1960s and 1970s, and later in Los Angeles, California, Zhila Shirazi tells her story firsthand. She reveals the real-life struggle of being a deaf woman who refuses to allow adversity to stop her from reaching her dreams of living a normal and fulfilling life.
In 1985, disgusted with the treatment of Jews by the new Islamic government, Zhila immigrates to the United States in pursuit of better circumstances and a chance to receive a cochlear implant to improve her hearing. However, it isn’t until she is forty-nine, when she meets her soulmate, Mickey Daniels, that she begins to feel her life truly complete.
A decade later, after they have fallen deeply in love, Zhila learns that she is suffering from an aggressive form of cancer. In the months that follow, Mickey becomes Zhila’s primary caretaker, and the two grow ever closer as they fight the disease together.
Right up to the end, Zhila shows her caring nature, innate intelligence, and will power to overcome almost any challenge. Her courage and the beauty of her memory is certain to inspire all who venture to follow her on their quest for a truly meaningful life.