by Bernie Lambek
Publishing Date: May 25, 2018
After a high school student is found dead at the bottom of a rock ledge on the outskirts of Montpelier, Vermont, the community confronts its conflicting beliefs and values—and the truths below the surface. A complex and timely legal mystery, Uncivil Liberties confronts hate speech and free speech, cyberbullying and privacy, religious and sexual freedom, and a community's many faces of love and loss. In the courtrooms and streets and bedrooms of Montpelier, lawyers and clients and loved ones grapple with moral convictions and prejudices. The novel is imbued with a deep respect for the law as well as for the passionate and irrational human beings who live within, and sometimes beyond, its constraints.
Visit Bernie's website: www.bernielambek.com
Bernie Lambek grew up in Montreal, the son of Jewish refugees from Nazi Europe. He studied philosophy at Dartmouth College, lived on a communal farm, and taught fourth grade for several years. He later attended Yale Law School, where he published articles on civil disobedience and international human rights. After judicial clerkships, including with Judge Fred Parker on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Lambek has practiced law at Zalinger Cameron & Lambek in Montpelier, Vermont, for the past 25 years. He represents a number of school districts around Vermont, occasionally dealing with issues of student speech and religion in the schools. In a 2012 lawsuit, Lambek and ACLU colleagues successfully challenged the practice of holding official prayer at town meeting in Vermont. Lambek serves on the Boards of the Vermont ACLU and the Green Mountain Film Festival. His wife, Linda Sproul, is a retired obstetric and pediatric nurse and they have three sons and four grandchildren. He plays table tennis and recently competed in the National Senior Games in Birmingham, AL. Uncivil Liberties is his first novel.
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What people are saying...
"... It’s a deftly nuanced, multilayered narrative that’s as much about the complex relationships among its many supporting characters as it is about courtroom maneuvers. ... A novel with articulate, well-paced, and thoughtful social commentary—and a few surprises along the way."
- Kirkus Review [Read the entire review here]
"… a splendid legal mystery, with savvy political ethics and vivid characters . . . a great story. By roiling up subterfuge and bad behavior, Lambek subverts conventional notions of pastoral New England. … This is the edgy, noirish B-side of "Moonlight in Vermont."
- Howard Norman, author My Darling Detective and The Bird Artist
"In a small New England town where everybody seems to know everyone else's business, people are forced to confront some of the most taboo moral issues of the day… An intriguing book, especially for addicts of courtroom drama. The interplay between the legal issues and protagonists is constantly interesting and surprising. Be prepared for shocks."
- Simon Mawer, Man Booker Prize Shortlist, author The Glass Room and Tightrope
"…should be required reading in any law school curriculum, by any book
group that prizes good literature, by anyone who enjoys whodunits,
and by those who value common decency and friendship."
- James Morse, retired Vermont Supreme Court Justice
"…an engrossing story about lawyers grappling with complex legal,
professional, and personal issues. Set in Vermont, Lambek’s entertaining
narrative follows an episodic path to an unpredictable conclusion. A great read!"
- Stephen Wizner, William O. Douglas Clinical Professor of Law at Yale Law School
"…a thoroughly engaging portrayal of Vermont's pot-holed road towards
a more civil society. Its characters entertain us, even as its narrative educates us."
- Bill Schubart, author Lila & Theron