My next book, A Different Kind of Angel, is due to be released around the end of August. As with many of my other books, I was drawn to a very difficult subject: the abuse of women in the late 19th Century, specifically the ill treatment and corruption in a women’s asylum. And one woman’s extremely brave attempt to expose the corruption. Written from the perspective of the protagonist, Klara Gelfman, a young woman who fled from the 1881 Kiev pogrom that devastated her family, the reader is taken behind the scenes to unthinkable injustices. It is historical times like this that the brave souls who fought for our rights, liberty, and the pursuit of justice shine brightly.
Inspired by real events chronicled by journalist for The World News, Elizabeth Cochrane (pen name, Nellie Bly), in 1887.
Klara Gelfman’s life in Kiev was serene until she turned nineteen. That’s when Russia’s Tsar Alexander II was assassinated, and a vicious propaganda campaign spread that blamed the Jews for his death. Klara and her family became victims of the many pogroms breaking out throughout Russia. None were so violent as what hit Kiev in 1881. It was there that Klara’s family was torn asunder and her world changed forever.
This is the story of what happens to this traumatized, orphaned, young Jewish woman when she escapes Russia and crosses an ocean to arrive on the rough streets of New York City able to speak only a few words of English. There, in the land of the free, Klara’s life is thrown into turmoil when she is mistaken for a drunken prostitute. Mistreated by those entrusted to protect her—the police, a judge, doctors, and nurses—she is condemned to an unrelenting hellscape when she is incorrectly and involuntarily committed to a lunatic asylum.
At a time when women had no political, economic or professional rights, comes a story where corruption by the powerful was as overt and commonplace as was garbage on the New York City streets. From the award winning, international best-selling author of The Seven Year Dress, comes an unforgettable story of the devastating effects of persecution, hatred, and arrogance. A Different Kind of Angel is also a story of love, family, friendship and loyalty. It is a journey into the nature and heart of the resilience of the human spirit that will leave readers thinking about the story long after they finish the book.