“A lovely, delicately spun tale… spell-binding and sensitively recounted. It’s a mesmerising story with extraordinary staying power.” West Coast Review of Books
“Unputdownable.” London Daily News
"This very readable tale about two sisters separated but cruelly linked by fate reveals the young author as a writer of talent." Cosmopolitan
“An engrossing novel.” Library Journal
“Dizzy with plot entanglements, halting coincidences, and lost characters found.” New York Review of Books
Rosa and her younger sister Esther are inseparable as children, but as adults they are divided by the Atlantic…and a terrible secret that cannot be told.
Brought up in a Jewish ghetto in Russia, where their traditional life is threatened by violence and oppression, the teenage sisters set off for America to join Rosa’s husband, who has recently emigrated there. When Rosa is tricked out of her steamship ticket in England, Esther travels on to New York without family, papers or money. While Rosa lands on her feet in London’s Soho, Esther is totally isolated in an unknown, unforgiving world.
Slowly and painfully, the sisters make their separate ways in America and England, their relationship maintained by an intimate yet uneasy correspondence. Suddenly this ceases. It is not until old age that they will meet again to draw together the threads of their exciting, passionate lives – lives have been inextricably entwined in their separation.
A deeply moving story of love and betrayal, poverty and success, rivalry and reconciliation