In the spring of 1975, Ben Friedman will celebrate his rite of passage into adulthood. When his beloved grandfather suddenly dies and leaves him a mysterious inheritance, Ben begins to discover who he is and where he belongs. When he chooses a path his powerful father opposes, their relationship becomes volatile. Will Ben withstand the pressure?
In 1914, Dovid Weisman, Ben’s great-grandfather, struggles to protect his family when Germany declares war on Russia and the brutal Cossacks occupy his village of Siedlce, Poland. He finds that love and opportunity are still possible. If they can escape with their lives.
Slipping between war-torn Poland and modern American life, one family’s story is woven together across three generations.
BUY LINKS for ebooks
The Cossacks flew in all directions, overturning furniture and emptying closets and cupboards.
“I want my daughter back,” Dovid repeated, pretending he was not the one who rescued her.
“Are you a gambling man?” Aleksandrov smiled.
“I’ll make you a wager.” Dovid sized up Aleksandrov. “We arm wrestle, and if I win, you back off, and I get my daughter back.” He stood resolute as though unaware that he was outnumbered and outgunned.
“And if I win, what do I get?” Aleksandrov’s nostrils flared, and he smiled with amusement.
“My other daughter.” Dovid stood eyeball to eyeball with Aleksandrov. Neither backed down.
The dragoon gathered around the table, and broken glass screeched beneath their boots. Aleksandrov removed his saber and his tunic. Hairy as a bear, he stepped close to the table with his right foot forward and placed his elbow on the table.
Dovid removed his wool coat and rolled up the sleeves of his white shirt. While physical strength mattered, he knew this was as much about positioning as strength. He placed his elbow on the table, tightened his core muscles, and opposed Aleksandrov. The two men gripped each other’s hand. The goal was to pin the other’s arm onto the surface of the table, the winner’s arm over the loser’s.
Mikola slammed his palm on the table, and the wrestling began. In an instant, merriment filled the room, and the Cossacks began their howls of encouragement and support for their commandant. Aleksandrov tried to rotate his hand over his opponent, and Dovid rotated his shoulder and body in the direction he wanted Aleksandrov’s arm to go. Aleksandrov twisted his wrist toward his chest and applied pressure. Dovid recognized the classic top roll and countered with a pulling motion and moved Aleksandrov’s hand toward him, applying force with his back and shoulders. Both men grimaced, and Aleksandrov grunted.
Dovid visualized Sora and Chana frozen in time as children playing in the park and laughing with gaiety and innocence. A surge of strength rose up in him. As Aleksandrov pushed in one direction, Dovid pulled in the other. Slowly, Aleksandrov’s arm inched closer to the table’s surface. Dovid curled his thumb underneath to secure a tighter grip and continued to pull, drawing strength from his back and shoulders, until Aleksandrov was pinned to the table.
Aleksandrov’s nostrils flared, and then his expression quickly changed to joviality, and he slapped his opponent on the back.
D.G Schulman is a publishing executive who married the boy next door and lives in the Midwest. She’s a member of the Jewish Book Council Author Network and the recipient of an Avery and Jule Hopwood award. When she’s not in front of a keyboard, she enjoys making chocolate, growing herbs, cooking, reading, and playing with her grandkids.