A woman’s struggle for
self-expression clashes with her
society’s religious dictates.
(Read first chapter here!)
Esther Kaminsky knows that her duty is to marry young
and produce many sons to help hasten the Messiah’s arrival: that is what
expected of young ultra-Orthodox women in Jerusalem at the end of the
Ottoman Empire’s rule. But when her French teacher catches Esther's
extraordinary doodling and gives her colored pencils and art lessons,
Esther wonders if God has a special destiny for her: maybe she is meant
to be an artist, not a mother; maybe she is meant to travel to Paris,
not stay in Jerusalem.
In the coming years, as Esther sacrifices her yearning for painting and
devotes herself instead to following God’s path as an obedient
“Jerusalem maiden,” she suppresses her desires—until a surprising
opportunity forces itself into her pre-ordained path. When her beliefs
clash with the surging passions she has staved off her entire life,
Esther must confront the hard questions: What is faith? Is there such a
thing as destiny? And to whom must she be true, to God or to herself?
Author's comment: Inspired by my ten-generation
family roots in Jerusalem, I wrote a "what-if" alternate
life for my grandmother and her untapped artistic genius.
Please read "The
Story Behind The Story."