In the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, a young Orthodox Jewish woman in the holy city of Jerusalem is expected to marry and produce many sons to help hasten the Messiah's arrival. While the feisty Esther Kaminsky understands her obligations, her artistic talent inspires her to secretly explore worlds outside her religion, to dream of studying in Paris - and to believe that God has a special destiny for her. When tragedy strikes her family, Esther views it as a warning from an angry God and suppresses her desires in order to become an obedient "Jerusalem maiden."
But when a surprising opportunity forces itself on to her preordained path, Esther finds her beliefs clashing dangerously with the passions she has staved off her entire life - forcing her to confront the most difficult and damning question of all: To whom must she be true, God or herself?
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"A welcome glimpse into a little-understood world." - Kirkus Reviews
"[W]hat begins as an earnest story of an introspective girl struggling to interpret God's will resolves disappointingly. The setting, concerns, and frequent Hebrew vocabulary will make this particularly appealing to Jewish readers." - Publishers Weekly
"Jerusalem Maiden is a page-turning and thought-provoking novel. Extraordinary sensory detail vividly conjures another time and place; heroine Esther Kaminsky's poignant struggle transcends time and place. The ultimate revelation here: for many women, if not most, 2011 is no different than 1911, but triumph is nonetheless possible." - Binnie Kirshenbaum, author of The Scenic Route
"As bold and fragile as its main character, Jerusalem Maiden is at heart a story of revolution... Captivates at every level, heart and mind." - Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean and Second Nature
"Exquisitely told... a moving and utterly captivating novel that I will be thinking about for a long, long time." - Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Girl
"The author draws upon meticulous research to paint a picture of a cloistered community that is both immersive and accessible to outsiders. With an exceptional handle on both place and time, the author lets readers into a foreign world through the eyes of a marvelously human heroine.... This heartbreaking work could be enjoyed by many readers." - Publishers Weekly editors after Jerusalem Maiden was named a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award
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Talia Carner was the publisher of Savvy Woman magazine. A former adjunct professor at Long Island University School of Management and a marketing consultant to Fortune 500 companies, she was also a volunteer counselor and lecturer for the Small Business Administration and a member of United States Information Agency (USIA) missions to Russia. She participated at the 1995 International Women's Conference in Beijing, where she sat on economic panels and helped develop political campaigns for Indian and African women. Her first novel, Puppet Child launched a nationwide legislation (The Protective Parent Reform Act) that became the platform for two State Senatorial candidates. China Doll made Amazon's bestsellers list and served as the platform for Ms. Carner's presentation at the U.N. in 2007...
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