Picking up a letter from his desk, Ulrich held it to his nose and breathed in the aroma of rose water. He pictured Havah sitting at the kitchen table, pen in hand, munching raisins, black waves cascading over her shoulders.
Nikolai walked to the desk, picked up the envelope and squinted. “‘Kansas City, Missouri. U.S.A.’”
“The postman delivered it yesterday afternoon.”
“What does she have to say?”
“Here, I’ll read it to you.
Friday, 29 January, 1904
Dearest Ulrich, my angel and friend,
I am hoping happiness for you. You, above all people, deserve it.
I miss hearing you play. Perhaps one day you will come here for a concert. Can you understand it, my writing?”
For a moment he stopped to study her even letters. The memory of her battle with her knife-slashed hand still pained him. No longer able to perform simple tasks such as writing or even holding a spoon, she forced her left hand, with unyielding diligence, into submission. After all of that, she still had impeccable penmanship.
~~Taken from From Silt and Ashes by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Published (December 2015) by Argus Publishing
Represented by Loiacono Literary Agency
Following tearful goodbyes to Ulrich and Nikolai, Arel, Havah and Arel’s family immigrated to Kansas City. Ulrich, who had already secured a teaching position at the Royal Academy of Music in London, talked Nikolai into joining him.
At the beginning of From Silt and Ashes Havah maintains her friendship with Ulrich through letters. Thanks to Arel’s income as a tailor, Arel and Havah have purchased a new house and are adapting to American life as they anticipate the birth of their first child.
Although she’s comfortable in her new home, Havah suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress and worsening physical disability. No longer an adolescent, she’s a young married woman who faces challenge after challenge with tenacity and courage.
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