Great Neck native Reyna Marder Gentin recently published her debut novel, Unreasonable Doubts, a legal thriller and love story that follows protagonist Liana Cohen on a journey of faith, love and justice. For Marder Gentin, who practiced as a lawyer for more than two decades, becoming a writer meant diverging from the beaten path and following her passion.

The author got her start at Great Neck North High School, which she graduated from in 1984.

“It was a competitive school, but I always felt that my biggest goal was to do well on my own terms and not in comparison to anyone else,” said Marder Gentin, reflecting on her time at GNN. “Perhaps even more than the classes or teachers, I made lifelong friends in high school. We still get together regularly, and those friends have been some of my biggest cheerleaders as I began this adventure of becoming a writer. Most importantly, I met my husband, Pierre Gentin, at Great Neck North. We’ve been married for 27 years and have two wonderful children.”

During her Great Neck days, Marder Gentin also spent time at the library’s Levels program and in her synagogue, Temple Israel.

“I was influenced by all these institutions,” she said of her schools, library and synagogue, “and of course by my family, to take all my endeavors seriously, but also to find the meaning and the fun in life. I think these aspects of a happy childhood in a safe, beautiful town are reflected in my writing.”

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How Being An Attorney Helped Me Become A Writer

Reyna Gentin | December 6, 2018 Columnists

There’s more overlap than you might expect between legal profession and the skills required to become a writer. Reyna  discusses the lessons she learned practicing law that she’s been able to apply in her writing.

After my first year of law school, one of my classmates dropped out to write a novel. While I admired her, it wasn’t my dream to be a writer, yet. I wanted to be a lawyer. And the lessons I learned in the 23 years that I practiced law were invaluable in my transition to becoming a writer.

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How I Became  Novelist

Reyna Gentin | December 5, 2018 Columnists

If you’ve ever entertained the notion of pursuing something creative — singing, acting, painting — you’ve likely heard this well-intentioned advice: “Don’t quit your day job.”

Despite appearances to the contrary, I didn’t quit my day job as an attorney to write a novel. Quite the opposite. Years of working as a public defender, representing men and women in their lowest moments, their freedom on the line, built up a wealth of material in me that could no longer be confined to a legal brief. I became a novelist not to escape being a lawyer but because being a lawyer demanded that I become a novelist.

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Unreasonable Doubts: An Interview With Reyna Marder Gentin, Appellate Attorney Turned Novelist.  This debut novel is a great read that also touches upon important themes.

By David Lat 

. . . I have a recommendation that can help on both fronts: Unreasonable Doubts, the wonderful debut novel of Reyna Marder Gentin, my fellow Yale Law School graduate turned lawyer turned author. It’s a legal thriller with substance, a page-turner that will trigger introspection and reflection — and that also makes a great Hanukkah or Christmas or holiday gift for the lawyer, law student, or lover of good books in your life.

I recently interviewed Reyna about Unreasonable Doubts and her legal and literary careers. Here’s a (lightly edited and condensed) account of our conversation.

To Read Full Interview, click here.

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October 18, 2018
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