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.”
“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
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.”
The Sequel to
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