I've done archeology in France, dogsledding in Minnesota and woodworking in my own garage, but what I love best is writing. I'm the author of the novel PLAYING FOR KEEPS (under the pseudonym Jack Kendall), the blog "Streets of Israel" and some short stories and guidebooks. I'm a recipient of the University of Michigan's Avery Hopwood Prize for excellence in writing.
I live in New York's Hudson Valley and on Long Island. A Ph.D. in language and literature, I have taught English and history and have raised funds for arts, environmental and community organizations.
I love reading 19th century fiction, 17th century poetry and just about anything else that's well written. I've been devouring books about World War I for decades.
Impetuous is not a word you’d use to describe Claire Bramany. But when an accident in Brooklyn in 1995 takes the life of her lover, Jessie Friedman, Claire’s world implodes.
While cleaning out Jessie’s desk, Claire finds journals that tell long-buried secrets of Jessie’s western girlhood.
Jessie’s account of Tulsa in 1944 appears innocent and playful, at first. Jessie’s days are peopled with quirky characters--especially Uncle Jimmy, an honest-to-goodness hero back from war-torn Europe. He’s Jessie’s favorite, until he makes his move on his nine-year-old niece.
No secrets. Secrets kill. This was the promise Claire and Jessie had made to each other. But Claire never heard of any Uncle Jimmy, much less any sexual violation. Shattered, yearning to reconnect with the Jessie she thought she knew, Claire heads out to Oklahoma.
Are the journals true? If so, has Claire any other course than to avenge Jimmy’s hideous crimes…?
There are some who will tell you they have nothing against the Jews, said the commander. "I will tell you, I have something for the Jews. If you will join me, I will...." She stopped, pondered, shrugged her heavy shoulders. "I cannot promise you safety. I cannot promise you anything, except the opportunity to do something great." Russia, 1914. Rivka, daughter of a prosperous boot maker, seems destined by tradition for marriage and the humdrum rounds of shtetl life. Then war breaks out, and things go badly for the tsar’s army. When demoralized troops begin deserting their posts in the trenches, one unlikely officer recruits a battalion of girls to set an example for the men. Can a woman fight successfully in the front lines? Rivka signs on, never suspecting the terrors that await her, or the trials that will test her, or the mishaps that will take her from the battlefields in the grip of revolutionary fervor, across the frozen steppes of civil-war-torn Siberia, and finally to the hot, dusty hills of Palestine, site of history's last great cavalry attack and first great air attack. World War I was a disastrous war; it ended in a disastrous peace, the consequences of which are still being felt today. Its effect on Jewish life in Eastern Europe has not often been written about, yet there and in Palestine that effect was profound. Taken from actual events, Rivka’s War tells of loss and survival, portraying the impact of the Great War on Jewish life. It is a coming-of-age tale that will satisfy adult readers while being appropriate, as well, for young adults.