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The Majesty and Mystery of Nature; Spring in the Southern Hemisphere

As we turn the corner on another winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, and look forward to the next season, I can’t help thinking of my native country. November in Buenos Aires is a sight to behold! While Spring officially starts there in September, the Jacarandás are in full bloom by the time we—here in America, anyway—have taken down the sukkah and have turned our thoughts to all things turkey.

The majestic Jacarandá is native to South America, but it was late in the 19th century when city planners officially introduced the foliage to Buenos Aires. The trees were planted in the city’s Bosques de Palermo in 1875, specifically placed in the Plaza 3 de Febrero to commemorate two famous victories, including the Battle of San Lorenzo (you can read about that particular event in my novel).

Plaza de San Martin

They can still be found there and throughout the capital, especially in and around Plaza de Mayo, Avenida Roque Saenz Peña and Plaza San Martin.

The English Tower in Buenos Aires

Legend has it that Jacarandás are associated with an Amazonian moon goddess. She symbolizes wisdom and ethics and the blossoms represent good fortune and rebirth. It is no wonder that the trees have become synonymous with the vibrant city of Buenos Aires.

My novel takes place in the Regency era of the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata, nearly 65 years prior to the dedication of the famous plaza in Palermo. In Celestial Persuasion, Miss Abigail Isaacs has her first glimpse of the beloved foliage as she approaches her new home in the province of Santa Fe.

A hedgerow of trees, striking in their billowing lilac color, marked the borders of the entire property.”

Of course, once Abigail arrives, she is not only drawn to the spectacular foliage. Curiosity wins out and she is compelled to ask…


As she followed Tati to the granary, she could not help but take notice of a particular fragrance. It was slightly pungent, a sweet scent that had a touch of earthiness. She looked about their surroundings, trying to isolate the origin of the distinct aroma.

“It is the jacarandá, madam.”

“Pardon me?”

“That musky fragrance—it comes from the jacarandá,” offered Tati, pointing to the lilac blossoms.

“I noticed them when we arrived,” replied Abigail. “In truth, one could hardly not take notice. They are quite striking. I cannot imagine what they must look like in full bloom. But pray forgive me, for their name is quite unfamiliar.”

“It is not a Spanish word, it is Guarani—as am I. And you are most astute, madam. The summer foliage is nothing to the blossoms in the spring. Their color changes depending on the sunlight. One moment they appear light blue and the next, they are like a vibrant amethyst.”

“You are a native of this land, then?”

“Yes, madam, but my ancestors were from a place farther north. My people settled here when my grandfather was still a child. I call this place home.” She paused as they came upon the granary. Taking hold of the ladder, she peered upward before turning to face her mistress.

“Madam, I am unable to assist you in this effort. Are you certain you can manage?”

Abigail laughed. “Dear Tati! My brother taught me how to climb trees when I was a young girl. And if you had seen me on the ship as we crossed the great Atlantic, you would not doubt me now! Lead the way, my girl!”

The women made quick work of ascending the ladder; and when Abigail crossed the threshold, she was overcome by the intoxicating scent of wheat that had been recently harvested and stored away. But they had not reached their destination yet. Tati led the way, climbing not one, but two other levels. Abigail had never doubted that her father had been a visionary. That he would have dreamed of living in such a place, surpassed her every imagining. The transformation of the granary into an astronomer’s observatory was incredible, to be sure. The vista was a luxury that surely even Caroline Herschel had not been afforded.

“I shall see every star shining in the night’s sky tonight!” Abigail exclaimed.

“You are truly arandu,” whispered Tati.

“Another word of the Guarani?”

The young woman nodded. “It means one who understands the message of the stars.”

Abigail smiled. “I fear I do not qualify, not yet at any rate. I am seeking to understand, but I am far from anything that would warrant such an accolade. Tell me, for I am curious to know more of your language, what does Tati signify?”

“My true name is Yasitata. My mother spent more than two days in travail before giving birth to me. It was only after she pleaded to the gods and made solemn oaths that I was finally delivered. There was a bright moon that night, causing the stars to shine down upon us. My name pays homage to Yasy, the moon goddess.”

“What a compelling tale. Your mother was a brave woman. No doubt you are as well.” Abigail paused and gave her next words some thought. “I feel that calling you Tati somehow diminishes your noble heritage.”

“Not at all, madam. It is a sobre nombre, a name given in the friendliest of terms. My mother is known as Estella, though her true name is Mbyja, which means “star.” We are quite content to be known by these mundane names, for it does not change how we are known amongst our wise men or our gods.”

They were interrupted by the sounds of the approaching men. The telescope, such as it was, had been mounted on a cart. They would bring up the various parts and assemble the instrument under Abigail’s watchful eye. She recognized the need for furnishings too late. She began creating a list in her mind of everything she would require in order to establish herself properly in her new laboratory. A long table, and a chair or two, would do to start. Naturally, she would require her books and writing materials. It was becoming quite an undertaking, but it would be well worth the effort in the end. Another thought came to her as the men scrambled down the ladders for another load.

“Tati, your people seem to have quite a relationship with the heavenly bodies. It would please me to learn your people’s stories and compare them with my own.”

“Do the English have different stories from those of the Spaniards?”

“I fear much of their wisdom, which stems from peoples of various nations, has been lost over the course of the years. Perhaps lost is not quite accurate. It has diminished or, at the very least, it has been transformed. And Tati, although I was born in England, I am a Jew. My people’s story varies greatly from my Anglican brothers and sisters.  Even our calendars are different, we mark the passage of time based on the cycles of the moon, not of the sun. Tomorrow night, we will celebrate the appearance of the new moon. The celebration of Rosh Chodesh ushers in a new month.”

“Then we have that in common, madam, though we call it Yasy Pyajhu. The concept of a calendar is new to my people, but we have always watched the heavens to understand the passage of time. Our wisemen know after twelve full moons have come and gone, the same climate cycle will return. In the month called June, Eichu appears on the eastern horizon as a great cluster of stars, and my people know that the rains will return. We have a grand celebration known as Arete Guazu in preparation for the planting season.”

“A great cluster of stars? In June, you say?” Abigail’s enthusiasm would not be denied. “But that must be what we call Pleiades. What more? Pray tell me more!”

Tati shrugged, uncertain what exactly to say. It was impossible to relate an entire culture with a few, simple anecdotes. Still, she wanted to please the new mistress who took notice of her and told her the names of the moon phases and the story of the Mborevi Rapee. “My ancestors tell the tale of a nocturnal animal, the tapir, who treads the same path between its den and its food source night after night. The tapir tramples on dry leaves as he treks back and forth. We, here on earth, can see his path as the light of the moon illuminates his tracks. You will surely see The Way of the Tapir this very night; and I promise, you will not require your tools to witness the sight.”

Abigail was astonished. “I thank you for sharing your ancestral wisdom, Tati. The Way of the Tapir must be what we call The Milky Way. And you are correct. I will not need my instruments, for I have witnessed the phenomenon with my own eyes. I have seen it on the ship that brought me here and I have seen it at home in Exeter. And I will gladly observe it from this very spot tonight. One never can tire of seeing God’s magnificent creation.”

“What magic is this? You have seen The Way of the Tapir from your family’s home?”

“It is not magic. It is the same sky, though I was in the north and we are now in the Southern Hemisphere. Our position on earth will change what we can see above, depending on the season and other variables…” Abigail paused and contemplated her words carefully. “Tati, it is not magic. I will teach you, if you wish to learn.”


I hope you have enjoyed this excerpt and the images I’ve shared. Stunning, aren’t they? I never tire of contemplating the majesty and mystery of nature. But did you know, that there wasn’t a word for “nature” in biblical Hebrew? Not being a theologian, I never gave it much thought. However, there has been an ongoing debate on the subject! Apparently, two medieval Jewish luminaries, Rabbi Yehudah ha-Levi and Maimonides, chimed in on the concept of a natural order and the word teva טבע was adopted into the Hebrew lexicon.

This Chabad site provided some interesting information; and so, I read on. Maimonides said, “G‑d is the eternal rock.” Another interpretation of this quote is “G‑d is the form of the world.” The idea was further developed by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi who taught that every creature, even a rock, has a soul. The soul of a rock, he explained, is the divine spark that brought it into existence in the first place. In retrospect, it appears, that we did have a Hebrew word for nature all along. It is a name of G‑d.

The post goes on to discuss the matter at length, but what are your thoughts on the subject? Let me know in the comments below.

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Jane Austen & Jewish Themes Part IV

Throughout this series, I have been looking at Jewish themes that can be found in Jane Austen’s work. That’s not to say that the renown author intentionally incorporated Judaic messages in her writing; however, as I’ve pointed out in my previous posts, Austen was raised in an observant environment and would have been quite at home quoting from the Good Book or referencing various biblical storylines. I am enjoying finding the similarities. I hope you are too!

SELICHAH, MECHILAH, and KAPPARAH ~ The different forms of Forgiveness. 

I previously touched upon the subject of repentance, but the matter requires further discussion. The theme of granting forgiveness can be found in nearly every book that Jane Austen penned. Just think for a moment. Elizabeth forgives Darcy, Elinor forgives Edward, Fanny forgives Edmund, and everyone is only too willing to forgive Emma!

Illustration by C.E. Brock

In Persuasion, we are introduced to a couple long separated by distance and pride.  Captain Frederick Wentworth has spent years holding a grudge, nursing his bruised ego and feeling the victim. For those who don’t know the story: Miss Anne Elliot had entered into an understanding with the gentleman, but —for better or for worse—was persuaded to end the budding relationship. Years pass before the two are brought back together again. Captain Wentworth tells his new friends that he finds Miss Anne, “altered beyond his knowledge.” Ruthless, heartless man! The gentleman is still licking his wounds…

He had not forgiven Anne Elliot. She had used him ill, deserted and disappointed him; and worse, she had shewn a feebleness of character in doing so, which his own decided, confident temper could not endure.”

It has been eight years and he still didn’t understand her! Had he used the time to reflect and to try to comprehend Anne’s actions, it would have been emotionally and mentally healthier for all concerned. Of course, that would have changed the arc of the story and no one understood that better than Austen.

In Northanger Abbey, we are introduced to a young lady just coming out into society. She has very little to say in her favor; and in fact, our heroine spends her days daydreaming and imagining herself the helpless victim of some gothic novel.

No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be a heroine.”

Catherine is invited to stay with family friends in Bath, and finds herself, quite suddenly, in over her head. With no real experience of socializing with others who have more—shall we say—life experiences, her naivete and imagination run wild. She wrongly suspects General Tilney (the father of the young man she comes to admire) of a crime he did not commit. In the end, she is somewhat exonerated, but the acknowledgment doesn’t come without some distress.

Your imagination may be overactive, but your instinct was true. Our mother did suffer grievously and at the hands of our father…No vampires, no blood. But worse crimes, crimes of the heart.”

Like any biblical story that focuses on Teshuva, Catherine experiences growth through pain. She recognizes her failings, repents, and determines to improve her behavior. The arc of her story is in keeping with Austen’s philosophy. The mean-spirted and conniving Thorpe siblings, however, do not see the error of their ways and they suffer for it. Austen uses their storyline to illustrate her point once again. Those who merit a HEA (happily ever after) will be rewarded in the end.

My characters shall have, after a little trouble, all that they desire.”

I can’t help but think of the period leading up to the holiest of days in the Jewish calendar: Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. We begin by commemorating the holiday of Selichot and use the time before “the gates begin to close” to think of those we have wronged.

Asking for forgiveness, for selichah, is the first step we must take. This is where we realize our error, we apologize to the injured party, and we show remorse.

When our poor behavior has caused much pain, we speak of mechilah. We ask that our transgressions be wiped away. We want things to be as they were; or better yet, to go on stronger than before. This can prove to be difficult for the injured party; for though many of us can forgive, it is very difficult to completely forget.

If the wrongdoing is of biblical proportions, a person may feel they are not worthy of forgiveness. They believe that there can’t be a positive outcome, no matter the excuse, no matter how many promises are made. Most people are not capable of forgiving an act of this magnitude. In fact, the forgiveness we seek, the kapparah, is beyond human capacity. The atonement, in fact, comes from a higher source, such as on Yom Kippur. This is when G-d looks into your heart, sees your repentance and says, “Be comforted.”

Illustration by C.E. Brock

In Persuasion, Jane Austen presents us with a scenario that is just as relevant today as it was three hundred years ago. Secure in his righteousness, Captain Wentworth needlessly wallows in Anne’s perceived betrayal. Obstinately holding on to his resentment only succeeds in polluting his view of the truth! Their meeting again gives them both a second chance to speak their heart. It’s a story full of angst and it is sometimes intolerable to witness their pain. When the captain overhears Anne speaking of love and loss to another gentleman, he finally comes clean. Captain Wentworth writes to Anne and bares his soul—as he should have done years ago.

You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant.”

In the ensuing paragraphs, Austen satisfies our need for the couple’s reconciliation. Anne and Frederick speak honestly to one another, exposing their vulnerabilities and the various misunderstandings that led to such despair. They forgive one another (selichah), their love is stronger for it (mechilah); and because they merit a HEA, they are comforted (kapparah). Quintessential Austen. Brilliant. Just brilliant!

In my latest novel, Celestial Persuasion, it is clear that Miss Abigail Isaacs shares similar characteristics with her newfound friend, Captain Wentworth. Fear and resentment have colored her view, not only of her ever-changing circumstances, but of a certain gentleman. As Mr. Bennet— of Pride and Prejudice fame— urges: read on, friend, read on…


A soft scratch upon the door shook her out of her musings, miserable and disheartening as they were. Abigail bade the interloper to enter, as she wiped away her tears.

“I have brought you some broth, my dear,” said Mrs. Frankel. “I thought you might be hungry, as we had not had to opportunity to dine. Do you think you might take a little?”

“I am much too shaken to eat, though I thank you for your concern. Will you not have it in my stead?”

“I have had some sent to my room, Avileh. I will leave you to rest then—oh, but I nearly forgot!” Mrs. Frankel exclaimed. “I have a letter for you, my dear. It is from Mr. Gabay.”

“Mr. Gabay! Whatever could he want? He barely spoke two words together in my presence. I fear his affections have been won over by Miss Kendall, Frankie dearest. They must have quarreled, for he was scowling all evening. Did you not notice?”

“No, indeed. However did you come to such a conclusion? Truly, my dear, you can see clear into the heavens but you cannot see what stands right before you.”

“Whatever do you mean?”

“Never you mind. Have a bit of your soup and read your letter,” she insisted, placing the envelope upon the bed. “Good-night, my dear.”

Abigail watched as Mrs. Frankel closed the door behind her. She eyed the broth with little interest and settled her gaze upon the letter instead. What could he have to say? Another jest? Another commentary on the state of the new union? Upon closer inspection, she noted that he had hastily folded the missive, it had not been sealed and it had not been addressed. Though she had had her fill of surprises to last a lifetime, her curiosity would not be neglected. She would read his letter and be done with it. For what could he possibly have to say that would lighten her heart?


What do you think? Will Mr. Gabay’s words cause more harm than good? Will Abigail be able to forgive past transgressions, even if that means forgiving herself? I invite you to read the story and come to your own conclusions. Until next time, thank you for stopping by!

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Blog Tour~ Day Three…but, different

I’m going back to revisit Day Three of the Blog Tour…you know, the day that didn’t go as planned. I am a believer that everything happens for a reason, so I am going to try something different. ¡Espero que les guste!

As you have read, Celestial Persuasion takes place during Argentina’s Regency period. I thought it would be nice to translate, and share, one of my Blog Tour entries with our Spanish-speaking Janeite friends. And so, without further ado, here is Day One presented in Spanish.

Hola Mirta y bienvenidos a My Jane Austen Book Club! Como de costumbre, pregunto ¿cuándo fue tu primer encuentro con Jane Austen”?

¡Hola María Grazia! Te agradezco tu bienvenida. ¡He estado esperando este día! Para responder a tu pregunta, tengo que volver a la clase de literatura inglesa de la Sra. Malm en la escuela secundaria. Estaba en el noveno grado cuando leímos Orgullo y Prejuicio. Era una ávida lectora de novelas en ese momento, pero si la memoria no me falla, me tomó varios años apreciar su genio y convertirme en una verdadera fanática de Jane.

Felicitaciones por el lanzamiento de Celestial Persuasion. ¿Descubriste algo notable sobre los personajes de Persuasión de Jane Austen mientras escribías tu libro?

De hecho, lo hice, pero comenzó cuando estaba escribiendo mi novela anterior, The Meyersons of Meryton y tenía que ver más con la ambientación, que con los propios personajes. Tuve que crear una solución para disciplinar al Sr. Wickham, ¡ese sin vergüenza! Lo que descubrí no solo me proporcionó una alternativa de transportation a Australia, sino que me abrió los ojos a una historia que hubiese aprendido, si hubiera sido educada en mi tierra natal de Argentina.

A ver si me puedo explicar. En general, aquellos de nosotros que leemos Austen y disfrutamos de historias de la regencia estamos bien versados en las Guerras Napoleónicas. Es casi imposible recoger una novela centrada en esa época y no encontrar algo relacionado con ese conflicto. Fue parte de la vida de Austen; ¡impactó a toda Europa! Pero mientras Napoleón causaba estragos y marchaba por todo el continente, había otros que se concentraban en el Nuevo Mundo. Mi investigación me llevó por el proverbial agujero del conejo y aterricé a los pies de Lord Duff, el cuarto conde de Fife. Me enteré del patrocinio de Lord Fife de José de San Martín. Descubrí las conexiones entre los ingleses y el Virreinato del Río de la Plata. Entre las historias de oficiales navales, monarcas desterrados, y damas vestidas de regencia, comencé a formular una idea. Las piezas estaban allí sobre la mesa, esperando a ser ensambladas como un gran rompecabezas. Fue el capitán Wentworth quien lo pudo unir para mi y así fue que desarrollé mi cuento.

Debido a que las guerras napoleónicas y la lucha por la independencia del Virreinato ocurrieron en el mismo período, pude tejer una historia en torno a mi protagonista, Abigail Isaacs—una joven que se encuentra en una situación desesperada—y el buen capitán del HMS Laconia. Al igual que el trabajo de Austen, una parte de la historia es epistolar. La correspondencia entre Abigail y el capitán Wentworth habría sido bastante escandalosa en circunstancias normales. Pero, la narrativa exige la comunicación; y al final de mi novela, el escenario está preparado para que Anne Elliot y el capitán comiencen su camino —tal como Jane Austen lo imaginó.

2. ¿Cuál es la conexión entre Persuasión de Austen y tu Celestial Persuasion?

Quise que mi libro sea una precuela; pero en orden para presentarlo como tal, necesitaba comprender plenamente el estado de Frederick Wentworth antes de su puesto en el HMS Asp. Y de hecho, leí Persuasión devuelta. Al mismo tiempo—mientras tropezaba por ese agujero de conejo que mencioné en la pregunta anterior—descubrí a una fascinante mujer que ustedes conocen bien: Mariquita Sánchez. Descubrí que su historia de amor con Jacob Thompson era similar a la de Anne Elliot y su capitán. Tanto las opciones de Mariquita como las de Anne fueron rechazadas por sus familias. En ambos casos, las familias afirmaron que oficiales navales pobres y jóvenes — desconocidos y sin experiencia— no eran candidatos para sus hijas. Donde Anne y Mariquita difieren es en su manera de reaccionar. Anne se dejó convencer de retirarse de su apego. Si lo hizo por el bien del capitán o por el de ella, es una pregunta que muchos lectores todavía debaten. Mariquita, en cambio, luchó por su elección y le costó caro. Mi protagonista, Abigail Isaacs, también se encuentra en aguas turbulentas y se le pide que tome una decisión que le altera la vida. No tiene ni amante ni familia que la convenza de una manera o otra. Abigail es una mujer sola; y siendo una criatura racional, ella hace su elección basada en los hechos tal como se presentan.

Había muchas similitudes entre la época de la regencia argentina y la de la obra de Austen, y no pude evitar unir las historias. Creé una conexión entre el capitán Wentworth y el hermano de mi protagonista. Es esta amistad la que obliga al capitán a entrar en la vida de Abigail Isaacs y pone a ambos en una nueva trayectoria.

3. ¿Hubo alguna escena que te gusto escribir particularmente?

¡Esta es una pregunta difícil! ¡No quisiera arruinar la lectura para tu audiencia! Solo diré que mi escena favorita fue muy satisfactoria de escribir. Sentí que la voz de Abigail sobresaltó más fuerte y más allá de cualquier cosa que había imaginado originalmente. Me conmovió la escena a mí misma, como si la estuviera observando como un extraño. Espero que también sea la favorita de un lector.

Otra escena involucraba la inclusión de una leyenda guaraní. Necesitaba inspiración para algún diálogo entre el teniente Gabay y Yasitata, una sirvienta guaraní. Pensé que tendría que pasar horas investigando en internet sobre esta cultura indígena, pero tuve suerte. O tal vez, me conmovió un ángel que vigila a los autores con bloque de escritor—¡no estoy del todo segura! Sólo voy a decir esto: Fue una gran satisfacción poder incluir esta fábula en el libro.

4. ¿Tienes una novela favorita de Austen? ¿Quiénes son tu heroína y héroe favorito?

Por mucho que disfruté Orgullo y Prejuicio—y he visto la adaptación cinematográfica de 1995 una y otra vez—Persuasión me conquistó. El crecimiento que vemos en Anne y el capitán Wentworth es poderoso, la constancia de su amor es conmovedora. Escribí sobre estos atributos en otro de mis libros: Destiny by Design~ Leah’s Journey. Si bien esta novela no es un verdadero “J.A.F.F.”, el libro fue definitivamente inspirado por Austen; y la transformación de Anne en Persuasión se discute con gran fervor entre mis dos protagonistas. Me encantó la determinación y amabilidad de Anne y su fuerza templada. Me encantó que el capitán Wentworth, aunque se sintió traicionado y mal utilizado, nunca amó a otra mujer.

5. ¿Cómo te ha inspirado Jane Austen?

Su Realismo me inspiró. Su afán por mostrar la vida tal y como la veía me inspiró. Austen, como sabemos, escribió sobre su mundo y su entorno. Aunque era ingeniosa y un poco sarcástica, nos trajo temas profundos para considerar y apreciar. Por supuesto, había historias de amor, pero en esencia, Austen nos permitió mirar a un mundo diferente, una cultura diferente. Con mi herencia cultural y mi origen étnico, seguir los pasos de Jane Austen me da una plataforma para compartir mis pasiones por la Judaica y mis raíces argentinas, con la ficción histórica. Desde luego, no pretendo tener su genio; su estilo e ingenio son legendarios. Sólo siento que ella abrió la puerta para los demás quienes tenemos historias para compartir, en un estilo propio…como Austen solía decir.

6. Contame más sobre tu investigación para Celestial Persuasion. ¿Qué te atrajo a esta historia en particular?

Supongo que mi radar de inmigrante atrae palabras que otros podrían no notar. Por ejemplo, si estoy leyendo, o viendo una película, y palabras como “el argentino” o “la pampa“ aparecen de repente, ¡me siento inmediatamente atraída! Aunque se suele mencionar de pasada, autores de la Regencia y las épocas victoriana han aludido a menudo a la participación inglesa en el Virreinato del Río de la Plata. En la miniserie de la BBC de la novela de Edith Wharton, The Buccaneers, el actor Greg Wise (también conocido como Willoughby) interpreta el papel de Guy Thwarte, un joven que se va a construir ferrocarriles en Argentina. En la miniserie de 2004 de Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, el Sr. Bell deja a Margaret Hale un legado antes de zarpar a la tierra de las pampas. Así que ya ven: sólo quería seguir el ejemplo que se puso delante de mí.

Debido a que me crié en los Estados Unidos, mi comprensión de la lucha argentina por la independencia era bastante deficiente. Pasé algún tiempo investigando la historia de la influencia de Inglaterra en el nacimiento de la República Argentina. Además, tuve que estudiar temas como la astronomía y la astrología en forma muy básicas, pero desde la perspectiva hebraica. Debido a que Abigail Isaacs “estudió los cielos”—al igual que su heroína, Caroline Herschel—quería que las fechas hebraicas correlacionaran con las actividades celestiales en y alrededor de 1812. El calendario hebreo está basado en la luna y, por lo tanto, difiere del calendario gregoriano. Tuve la suerte de incluir datos históricos y fiestas judías en la novela, y hacer que coincidan con lo que estaba sucediendo en los cielos. Esto fue particularmente importante en el capítulo que enfoca a la famosa batalla de San Lorenzo.

7. Mencionas temas que no se encuentran generalmente en una novela de Regencia: Argentina, Caroline Herschel y los temas judíos. ¿Cómo llegó a escribir sobre tales temas y el lector necesita tener una comprensión del judaísmo para disfrutar de tu libro?

¡Gran pregunta! Espero poder representar el judaísmo de Abigail Isaacs y Raphael Gabay al igual que los personajes anglicanos de Austen. Su fe forma parte de lo que son; está ahí, en el fondo…simplemente añade otra dimensión. Escribir sobre personajes y temas judíos es importante para mí, porque lo que nos han dado autores como Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dickens e incluso Heyer, no me agrada. Las caricaturas de los judíos codiciosos, malvados y de nariz grande es una parodia y debe ser impugnada. Del otro lado, hay una multitud de material de lectura que trata de la historia trágica del Holocausto. Esto es como debe ser. Deberíamos saber, y nunca olvidar lo que sucedió durante ese reinado de terror; el judaísmo es una religión que aprecia la vida. ¡Hay mucho más en nuestra historia que la tragedia y el dolor! Y es por eso que escribo ficción histórica judía ambientada en la Regencia y la época victoriana.

Sobre el tema de Argentina: ¡la respuesta es igual de sencilla! Como inmigrante, mi experiencia fue como dice la canción: No soy de aquí, ni soy de allá. Descendiente de rusos, Judía, nacida en Argentina, pero fanática de mi país adoptivo…me llevó casi toda mi vida (ya pronto cumplo 60) aceptar quien soy, cuales son mis raíces. Batallé en contra de un complejo de identidad. ¡Pero ya no más! Mi primer libro: With Love, The Argentina Family, una especie de autobiografía, fue terapéutico y abrió la puerta a otras oportunidades y formas de pensar. No pretendo que mi trabajo sea académico; ¡no está destinado a serlo! Espero que les resulte leve y entretenido… e incluso ilustrativo.

En cuanto a por qué elegí a Caroline Herschel: Estaba buscando un modelo o héroe para mi protagonista, pero descubrí que había pocas mujeres matemáticas y científicas a principios de 1800. Descubrí a Sara Guppy, Mary Edwards y Mary Somerville y quedé completamente impresionada con sus logros. Luego me encontré con Caroline Lucretia Herschel. Sus extraordinarias contribuciones al mundo de la ciencia y la astronomía fueron sin duda una inspiración, pero ella tenía otros dos atributos interesantes que me llamaron la atención. Una era su herencia judía y la otra era su relación con su hermano, William. La relación con Abigail y su hermano, Jonathan Isaacs, fue bashert: Estaba destinado a ser.

8. ¿Por qué los lectores de Austen deberían obtener una copia de tu Celestial Persuasion? ¿Cómo los invitarías a hacerlo?

¡Gracias por preguntarme! Sabemos que hay una gran cantidad de variaciones de Austen disponibles para una audiencia mundial. Creo que es significativo que el trabajo de Austen continúe inspirando a un grupo diverso. Se nos han presentado interpretaciones modernas, historias de viajes en el tiempo, y narrativas que se centran en cualquier número de etnias y culturas. Esto habla de nuestra sed de nuevas y tentadoras tramas y temas austenescos. Celestial Persuasion no cambia a nuestros queridos personajes, pero llevará al lector en un viaje fuera de Inglaterra. Conocerás nuevas personas y culturas, y con suerte, te enamorarás de otra pareja cruzada por las estrellas.

Celestial Persuasion es definitivamente una novela independiente; y aunque he tratado de emular a Austen, la historia es única y propia. Permítanme terminar con los pensamientos de Austen:

“No podía sentarme seriamente a escribir un romance serio bajo ningún otro motivo que salvar mi vida, si fuera indispensable para mí mantenerlo – nunca relajarme en reírme de mí misma o de otras personas, estoy segura que debería ser colgada antes de haber terminado el primer capítulo. No – Debo mantener mi propio estilo y seguir a mi manera; y aunque nunca vuelva a tener éxito en eso, estoy convencida de que debería fracasar totalmente en cualquier otro.”

Invito a tu audiencia a dar una vuelta alrededor del mundo conmigo. Si las estrellas se alinean, Celestial Persuasion estará disponible en Amazon tanto en formato digital como impreso el 30 de junio de 2021. ¡Espero que disfruten de la lectura! Gracias por invitarme. ¡Fue divertido! Si desean más información sobre cualquiera de mis libros, les invito a visitar mi blog: mirtainestruppauthor.com

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Blog Tour~ Day Two: Heidi Slowinski, author & editor

Here we go. Day Two!

You don’t want to miss this next stop!

Follow the link below & let me know what you think.

Heidi Slowinski

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Time to Celebrate!

Announcing the arrival of the Pre-order link!

Celestial Persuasion is now available for pre-order HERE

Be the first in line to get your copy!

Purchase the eBook today and receive the content on 6/30/2021.

I’m so excited! I know you are excited, because I have been receiving lovely messages from so many readers. Help me spread the word. Preorder your eBook today and let Amazon do its magic!

Happy reading!