*** Winner of the 2015 SAN DIEGO BOOK AWARD for General Fiction
A raw and haunting, coming-of-age novel about a courageous, young girl and her grandfather who share tragedy, unique survival skills and a divine intervention.
Growing up in her parents' crazy hippie household on a tiny island off the coast of Boston, Jules's imaginative sense of humor is the weapon she wields as a defense against the chaos of her family's household. Somewhere between routine discipline with horsewhips, gun-waving gambling debt collectors, and LSD-laced breakfast cereal adventures, tragedy strikes a blow from which Jules may never recover.
Jules's story alternates with that of her grandfather, Szaja, an Orthodox Jew who survives the murderous Ukranian pogroms of the 1920s, the Majdanek death camp, and the torpedoing of the Mefkura, a ship carrying refugees to Palestine. Unable to deal with the horrors he endures at the camp, Szaja develops a dissociative disorder and takes on the persona of a dead soldier from a burial ditch, using that man's thoughts to devise a plan to escape to America.
While Szaja's and Jules's sorrows are different on the surface, adversity requires them both to find the will to live despite the suffering in their lives--and both encounter, in their darkest moments, what could be explained as serendipity or divine intervention. For Jules and Szaja, these experiences offer the hope they need to come to the rescue of their own fractured lives.
*** Winner 2014 USA BEST BOOK AWARD for Cross-Genre Fiction
*** 2015 INDIE EXCELLENCE AWARD Finalist for Literary Fiction