If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he
has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
–Henry David Thoreau
Friday morning as I decorated cakes at work, I received a text message and an email from my agent, Jeanie, that began with, “I hope you’re sitting down” turned my world upside down. With several hours left to my work day, I tried to keep focused on tasks at hand while vacillating between smiles and tears. A nine-year-old dream that began with a story and nascent writing skill was about to come true.
Barefoot, wearing only a nightgown, Havah Cohen escapes the brutal massacre that takes her parents and two brothers on a frigid November night in 1899. To keep her mind off her razed village as she runs through the woods in search of safety, she recites the Kaddish, the prayer said in memory of the dead. Who else will perform this mitzvah, blessing, for them? Just before sunrise she collapses on the synagogue steps in a nearby village called Svechka, Moldavia.
Havah is the daughter of a free-thinking rabbi who saw nothing wrong with women having the same education as men. To avoid the inevitable disapproval in her new surroundings, Havah tries to keep her knowledge a secret. However, Arel, Rabbi Gitterman’s son, finds her irresistible because of it. If only Arel wasn’t betrothed to Gittel, Havah’s adopted sister.
Both PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME and FROM SILT AND ASHES revolve aroundHavah, her life, her loves and her challenges which she faces with stubborn passion. Althoughshe has a strong faith in God, she pushes the boundaries of religion and traditions.
Represented by Loiacono Literary Agency