Praise for Rebecca of Salerno
Rebecca of Salerno gives voice to one of literature’s overlooked heroines, the courageous, intelligent, big-hearted Rebecca of Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe…Esther Erman deftly weaves…detail about the lives of Jewish women in medieval Europe into a gripping, fast-paced tale of vengeance, love, and healing…Rebecca battles with anti-Semitism, misogyny, and her own heart, as she pursues justice for a man wrongly accused of murder…a novel for our time: while acknowledging the worst tendencies of our shared humanity, it also affirms our capacity for resilience and renewal. Erman’s masterful achievement left me feeling moved and inspired.
– Professor Juliet Shields, Dept. of Humanities, Northumbria University, author of Nation and Migration
Esther Erman’s meticulously researched novel of Jewish life in the Middle Ages…brings the fragility of Jewish existence to life. The constant fears and signs of anti-Semitism, the need to flee into exile in search of a safe haven with which the tale begins and ends, and the resilience of Jews are on full display…The reader discovers a strong, brave woman who, while pursuing a path to become a healer in the face of great odds, holds on tenaciously to basic Jewish values like the pursuit of justice…a compelling story.
– Rabbi Sheldon Lewis, author of Letters Home: A Jewish Chaplain’s Vietnam Memoir and Torah Of Reconciliation
…a lively classic romance with a modern twist… after 200 years, Walter Scott’s Rebecca…gets a second chance for true love but also finds a brilliant career in medicine, in progressive Salerno… By following Scott’s heroine to Barcelona, Salerno, and (in an exciting medieval version of a car-chase) Palermo, Erman brings to life the…age-old story of established Jewish communities forced…to leave their homes… For all the colorful details that make the book such a pleasure to read, the plot on a deeper level is driven by Rebecca’s determination… A life-affirming narrative with deep cultural roots.
– Emily Klenin, Professor Emerita, Department of Slavic, East European & Eurasian Languages & Cultures, University of Southern California
. . .a rich historical tapestry rife with fascinating characters and an intriguing, page-turning story. Readers will be dazzled by the descriptions of life and school in medieval Salerno. . .in this satisfying mystery.
– Hannah Jayne, Best Selling Author of Truly, Madly, Deadly and The Girl in the Headlines
. . . a superb work of historical fiction. It is everything the genre begs for: romance, intrigue, and a captivating mystery. Set at the end of the 12th century and the dawning of the 13th . . . a lively picture of life for Jews, especially Jewish women, in much of Southern Europe, including colorful and historically accurate descriptions of clothing and food preparation. . . not only an enjoyable read, it is a history lesson for Jews and gentiles alike.
– Sara Zeff Geber, Ph.D., free-lance author
With grace and verve, Esther Erman revives the character of Rebecca. . . bringing that valiant and resourceful heroine to Salerno. . . .She once again learns how expendable her fellow Jews are when faced with antisemitic sentiment.
– Michelle Cameron, award-winning author of The Fruit of Her Hands and Beyond the Ghetto Gates
. . . The depth of her knowledge of the customs and language of this period is unsurpassed. A book to be read with relish by lovers of historical fiction.
– Neil Kaplan, author of Acquiring Polish Citizenship by Descent
. . . meticulously researched and populated with a cast of engaging characters . . . This historical novel boasts witty dialogue, a fast pace, and an ingenious plot