“This is a story about immigration, adaptation to new cultures, and, for Esther, a chance to grapple with the traditional roles that women play. The house itself is an important part of the story … a solid choice for book clubs.” ―Library Journal
“A vibrant family saga…A CASTLE IN BROOKLYN is an impressive debut novel that illustrates the many ways that the Holocaust continues to impact contemporary Jewish life; a deeply felt hatred of fascism gives the novel its heft and lasting relevance.” ―Foreword Reviews
For fans of Ann Patchett’s The Dutch House, Lauren Fox’s Send For Me and Linda Cohen Loigman’s The Two-Family House comes a moving and heartfelt immigration story of one man’s dream to have a family and build a home in America, a place where anything is possible. In A CASTLE IN BROOKLYN (Little A; January 1, 2023), critically acclaimed author Shirley Russak Wachtel pens her debut novel, an engaging and beautifully written tale that explores three main themes: the importance of following one’s dreams; the enduring nature of family and friendship; and the idea that home is a reflection of the lives within its four walls.
In 1944 Poland, Jacob Stein and Zalman Mendelson meet as boys under terrifying circumstances. They survive by miraculously escaping the brutalities of the Holocaust, but their shared past haunts and shapes their lives forever.
Years later, Zalman plows a future on a Minnesota farm, and Jacob has a new life in Brooklyn with his wife, Esther. When Zalman travels to New York City to reconnect, Jacob’s dream to build a home in Brooklyn becomes a reality. With Zalman’s help, they build a house for Jacob’s family and for Zalman, who decides to stay. Modest and light filled, inviting and warm, it’s a castle to call home for each of them.
Then an unforeseeable tragedy―and the grief, betrayals, and revelations in its wake―threatens to destroy what was once an unbreakable bond, and Esther finds herself at a crossroads.
Life goes on as others, with their own dreams, move into the home. Eventually, the novel comes full circle as those who remain come to understand the true nature of friendship and family.
When asked about the inspiration for her novel, Wachtel explains, “I am defined by my parents’ legacy. Growing up the child of Holocaust survivors, never knowing my grandparents and with only a handful of extended family members, I came to understand the importance of family and am driven to express this idea in my writing. From a young age, I learned of the horrific experiences my parents endured and their desire to build a better life for their children. Their story is the story of so many others seeking to build a new home in America. I wanted to express this idea in A CASTLE IN BROOKLYN.”
We have a great line up of fantastic bloggers who will share features, post reviews and offer giveaways throughout the month of January. We hope you will follow along to learn more about this wonderful new historical fiction!
Monday, January 2nd – We Love Big Books And We Cannot Lie
Tuesday, January 3rd – Cassie’s Books Reviews
Wednesday, January 4th – The Caffeinated Reader
Thursday, January 5th – Sue the Bookie
Friday, January 6th – Booklover Laura
Sunday, January 8th – Books N’ Yoga Pants
Monday, January 9th – Bookoholic Café
Tuesday, January 10th – Books Writing and More
Wednesday, January 11th – Lit by Lilli
Thursday, January 12th – Danish Mustard Reads
Friday, January 13th – Andrea C. Lowry Reads
Sunday, January 15th – Bookphile Belle
Monday, January 16th – Books and Coffee MX
Tuesday, January 17th – Suzy Approved Book Reviews
Tuesday, January 17th – Gloriana Wong
Wednesday, January 18th – Sarah and Her Bookshelves
Thursday, January 19th – Tina May Reads
Friday, January 20th – The Book Club Mom
Saturday, January 21st – Subakka Book Stuff
Sunday, January 22nd – Girl Who Reads
Monday, January 23rd – Momfluenster
Tuesday, January 24th – Storeybook Reviews
Wednesday, January 25th – Bookalong
Thursday, January 26th – Sarah’s Bookstack
Friday, January 27th – We Break For Books
Monday, January 30th – Kim Reads and Reads
Monday, January 30th – Books on my Mind
Tuesday, January 31st – The Book Review Crew
Tuesday, January 31st – Lexijava