Though Dottie lives with her traditional Yiddish-speaking parents, she’s as modern as a 1930’s girl can get: she has just been promoted to head bookkeeper at a glittering midtown office, andnplans to marry her swoon-worthy boyfriend Abe. But after a fight with Abe, and a single careless night with the charismatic but unsuitable Willie, Dottie finds herself in the family way. Desperate, she is unwed, unsure, and running out of options.
Meanwhile, as news of Jewish persecution in Europe spreads, Rose longs to return to the social activism she embraced as a young woman in Russia. But when she finds herself pregnant with a fifth child, she wrestles with profound disappointment at being forced to once again set aside political work, even as her brother remains trapped in Poland.
As both mother and daughter wrestle with unthinkable choices, they are forced to confront their beliefs, and the changing world around them. What they choose to do next will yield astonishing lessons about what truly lies in each woman’s heart. Only one thing is for sure: neither will ever be the same again.
A gorgeously rendered debut filled with rich historical detail, MODERN GIRLS resonates with timely and important themes, including the pangs of cultural assimilation, and the sometimes painful ways in which we are tethered to community—and to each other.
|Photo by Jim Pogozelski|
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