*** 2018 IAN AWARD WINNER
*** Winner 2015 THEODOR S. GEISEL AWARD ***
*** Winner of the 2015 SAN DIEGO BOOK AWARDS for General Fiction ***
A raw and haunting, coming-of-age novel about a courageous, young girl and her grandfather who share tragedy, unique survival skills and a divine intervention.
Jules Finn and Szaja Trautman know that sorrow can sink deeply—so deeply it can drown the soul.
Growing up in her parents’ crazy hippie household on a tiny island off the coast of Boston, Jules’s imaginative sense of humor is the weapon she wields as a defense against the chaos of her family’s household. Somewhere between routine discipline with horsewhips, gun-waving gambling debt collectors, and LSD-laced breakfast cereal adventures, tragedy strikes a blow from which Jules may never recover.
Jules’s story alternates with that of her grandfather, Szaja, an orthodox Jew who survives the murderous Ukranian pogroms of the 1920s, the Majdanek death camp, and the torpedoing of the Mefkura, a ship carrying refugees to Palestine. Unable to deal with the horrors he endures at the camp, Szaja develops a dissociative disorder and takes on the persona of a dead soldier from a burial ditch, using that man’s thoughts to devise a plan to escape to America.
While Szaja’s and Jules’s sorrows are different on the surface, adversity requires them both to find the will to live despite the suffering in their lives—and both encounter, in their darkest moments, what could be explained as serendipity or divine intervention. For Jules and Szaja, these experiences offer the hope the need in order to come to the rescue of their own fractured lives.
" . . . a young woman growing up in a dysfunctional family and her Holocaust-survivor grandfather are shaped by their experiences of surviving pain through moments of grace. Yates shows much skill in description, characterization and dialogue . . . insightful about the mental state of abused children . . . vividly evokes time and place. Well-written." -Kirkus Reviews
"A family saga . . . explores the darkest side of human nature--and the incontrovertible, uplifting power of hope." -Publishers Weekly
*** Winner of the 2014 USA BEST BOOK AWARD for Cross-Genre Fiction ***
*** Finalist in the 2015 INDIE EXCELLENCE AWARDS for Literary Fiction***
Historical FictionLiterary FictionTeen & Young AdultPoetry
BIOGRAPHY THE BELIEF IN Angels, Dylan's debut novel, was written over the course of many years while she worked a number of BFA-related jobs, including: waitressing, teaching, corporate training, nursing, interior design, directing, parenting and reluctant housewifery. She lives in Boulder County, Colorado and volunteered with Boulder County's Voices for Children program as a CASA for 15 years and with the Girls Rising program as a mentor. Dylan is a member of the Women's National Book Association of Los Angeles.
The next novel in this series, SZAJA'S STORY, focused on the character created in THE BELIEF IN Angels, traces Szaja's ultimate journey to America via the desperate Ukranian refugee work camps of the '20s, his amazing survival of both the Majdanek death camp and the torpedoing of refugees aboard the Mefkura, and his fascinating experiences in the post-war Parisian couture houses.
Winner of the 2018 IAN BOOK AWARD and the 2015 THEODOR S. GEISEL AWARD, Winner of the 2015 SAN DIEGO BOOK AWARD for General Fiction, Winner of the 2014 USA BEST BOOK AWARD for Cross-Genre Fiction and a 2015 INDIE EXCELLENCE AWARD Finalist for Literary Fiction as well as a 2018 WISHING SHELF AWARD, a 2015 IPPY AWARD Winner, a 2014 USA BEST BOOK AWARD Finalist, a 2015 KINDLE BOOK AWARD Finalist and a 2015 LEAPFROG PRESS AWARD Honorable Mention for the adapted Young Adult version, of the THE BELIEF IN Angels.
For Speaking Engagements, Radio, T.V. and Book Club appearances contact: CheneryPress@gmail.com
Stay in touch via her webpage: www.jdylanyates.com
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