Character Study – Valerica Dietrich

Published January 15, 2016 by rochellewisoff

Although she [Havah] had dusted it many times, a faded photograph in a silver frame caught her attention. A woman with pale curls around her face smiled at her from under a lace bridal veil. She lifted the picture from the table beside the piano.

            “What was she like?”

            “My Valerica.”  He took the picture from her. Then, holding it to his chest, he propped an elbow on the piano and rested his head on his hand. “Kolyah introduced us.”

            “Dr. Nikolai?”

            “She was his wife’s best friend. Do you believe in love at first sight, Havah?”

            Not waiting for an answer, he continued. His spirit seemed to travel to a distant time and place. Tears shimmered in his eyes. “Valerica Dietrich. She was always the picture of fashion. But, if you ask me, she could’ve worn flour sacks and still have turned heads.

                               ~~From Please Say Kaddish for Me

“Have you heard from your professor?”

“I got a letter this morning.” Havah took an envelope from her pocket. “How is he?”

“He’s so lonesome. Oh, he doesn’t say so, but I can tell by the way he talks about his wife and how much he misses her. She’s been gone thirteen years. It’s a pity he never remarried.”

              ~~From From Silt and Ashes

Published by Argus Publishing

Represented by Loiacono Literary Agency

Valerica Dietrich - Framed

Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

It was for his Romanian wife, Valerica that Ulrich moved to Kishinev, Moldova. Her death in childbirth dealt him a terrible blow from which he has never recovered. In Please Say Kaddish for Me, to keep her memory alive, Ulrich still has all of her belongings and refuses to sell the house they shared.

However, after experiencing anti-Semitic oppression and the carnage of the pogrom, he can no longer bear to remain in Kishinev.

As From Silt and Ashes opens he has sold the house and moved to London where he teaches at the Royal Academy of Music. Valerica’s wedding photo is ever by his piano for, as he’s told Havah, “She had music in her eyes.”

FSAA Cover

The Sequel to

PSK Cover

Both Available at


Check out my author page on the Loiacono Website.  For all of the character studies thus far, click on the link Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Art and Blogs or my website RochelleWordArt.


6 comments on “Character Study – Valerica Dietrich

  • I wondered what Valerica might look like. Now I know. I love the way you continue to weave characters and their memories into their story. They are becoming so real, I expect to be able to find them in historical documents. And, of course, some are. Keep them coming. I can’t wait for this next novel to come out. I think you enjoy teasing me with the characters. Lol.


    • Dear Suzanne,

      My models are from dozens of different places. Sometimes I start with a celebrity I imagine would play the character in a movie but alter the features a bit. I’ve found a wealth of old photos online as well. I used an aunt for Shayndel. 😉 At any rate, after over ten years of listening to these people tell me their stories, they’re very real to me.
      Thank you for your kind comments.



      Liked by 1 person

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