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CNB Book News: Riding the Edge: A Love Song to Deborah

A work of love that evokes greater love—Michael Tobin’s memoir will move your soul

JERUSALEM (JULY 27, 2021)—Forty-seven years ago, Michael discovered his soulmate Deborah on a dance floor in Keene, New Hampshire. It took her soul a few years and an around-the-world bike trek to fully reciprocate. Riding the Edge:A Love Song to Deborah (Greenleaf Book Group, July 20, 2021) is the astonishing tale of the six-month odyssey that profoundly shaped the next 564 months of their lives together.

Taking place in 1980, Michael and Deborah—an American Jew and American Arab, respectively—leave the security of their well-ordered lives as psychologists sleepwalking toward marriage and family to explore and take risks in search of life’s larger truths.

What they find is a story of magnificent vistas and memorable moments that open their senses to the beauty of the world even as it also reveals the vilest of human cruelty.


Green Grove Books
(Greenleaf Book Group, July 20, 2021)
ISBN-13: 978-1632993908
Paperback and Kindle
318 pages

Simple meals become transcendent experiences, chance encounters are serendipitous markers along a road directing them toward personal and spiritual transformation. Each place leaves its mark—Paris and the French countryside, Italy, Greece, war-torn Beirut, Israel—and each person an imprint even as Deborah and Michael struggle to find the truth of their love. Have they found a life partner or merely a steppingstone to another, deeper connection?

It’s a journey that has a mind and heart of its own—a travelogue of life’s inner wisdom. 

“In the end, each story, meal, kindness, and cruelty uncover the humanness that connects all living things,” explains the author, “and shows that love is perhaps the ultimate healing life force.”

“There’s a Talmudic expression that says, ‘What comes from the heart, penetrates the heart.’ May it be so for this memoir which truly comes from the depths of my heart.”

NOTE: Ten percent of all royalties from Riding the Edge will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), which intruded as the imperative for publishing the memoir quickly, only surfaced in the final chapter of the book but tinged all that had come before. Today, over 6 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s. Over the past 20 years, deaths from AD have increased by 145 percent. In 2021, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation $355B.
Image  Michael Tobin, PhD, has been an author and playwright since he was twelve when he wrote a monumental play about the Warsaw Ghetto uprising that had over 20,000 actors on stage at one time. For logistical reasons it was never produced. On his way to becoming a psychologist, he was a former US Army officer, glacier climber, marathon runner, and restauranteur. He also claims to be the first entrepreneur to introduce granola to Connecticut. 

To find out more about the author and to access his articles on marriage and family relationships, aging, health, fitness, and travel, visit

At once, a shimmering travel memoir, spiritual quest, and pilgrimage into the heart of a relationship, Riding the Edge is one of the bravest books I’ve read this year. When a multicultural couple discards their successful careers and stagnant life to cycle through Europe and the Middle East, their journey takes them to deeper, darker, and ultimately higher places than anticipated. In captivating prose that captures epicurean delight as deftly as the terror of war, Michael Tobin shares a story of self-discovery, compassion, and divine providence that will have readers redefining the meaning of love and commitment.
Milou Koenings, USA Today best-selling author

Tobin’s story is powerfully engaging—readers will be eager to learn how his passionate yet volatile relationship with Deborah developed and how traveling to locations that shaped their lineage impacted them psychologically and emotionally.
—Kirkus Reviews

Placed at the intersection of essence and memory, this book is at its very heart a gift, lovingly culled and magnificently rendered, given generously to you the reader so that you too can be swept away in the current of purpose and toward deep meaning.

This inspirational memoir, written with an open heart, will change you.
Naama Heller, author and food critic

There is not a sense that remains untouched by Michael Tobin’s love song to Deborah and to their life together. One can smell and taste the forests and the rich and ethnic food, hear the cacophony of gripping personal stories, some painful, some filled with grace, along with the calls and whispers of animals and birds. One’s mind’s eye envisions the panoramic vistas, both the miraculously gorgeous and those assaulted by the horrors of war.

The moistness of the soil, the coldness of the metals, the fabric of humanity, and the materials of their journey, both gentle and harsh, amid an unending search for resolution—all these create a full-heart and full-mind experience for the reader. But most of all, this book moves the soul.
Toby Klein Greenwald, poet, journalist, award-winning theatre director; recipient, American Jewish Press Association Simon Rockower Awards for Excellence in Jewish Journalism

Tobin is a very engaging writer with clear prose. Especially delightful are his passages on landscape, landmarks, and various regional cuisines. The chapters on Paris and Corfu are fascinating and memorable. Score 9 of 10.
—Book Life/Publisher’s Weekly Prize