Monday, September 28, 2009

Books I Would Read If I Could

See? I told you I would be back shortly.

My Staffpurrson's sister, Michelle Cameron, recently had her first novel published.

The title is "The Fruit of Her Hands: The Story of Shira of Ashkenaz." It's historical fiction, set in the 13th century, and it's about an ancestor of Staffpurrson's family, a renowned rabbi and Talmudic scholar, Meir ben Baruch of Rothenberg. Now that may not sound very exciting, but the 1200s were an increasingly dangerous time for Jews in Western Europe. The book has suspense and romance and royal intrigue and desperate measures and death and love that endures. Plus poetry and historical events and figures.

Its greatest fault is that it lacks cats. I don't know why we got left out -- we had a rough time then, too, what with being unfairly associated with witches and all. So I give it only four stars.

Staffpurrson, however, says it deserves five stars because it's really well written -- Cameron is a published poet, so she knows how to craft beautiful sentences -- and very gripping, and the characters are compelling. Some people say Shira herself (about whom nothing is known because women were invisible to medieval chroniclers unless they were Eleanor of Aquitaine) is a bit passive, but she is true to history and she does fight in her own quiet way.

It's available at bookstores everywhere and online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Books-a-million. And check out the author's Web site at

Aunt Michelle says her next novel will have a sacred Egyptian cat in it, but people need to buy this one to get that one published. So what are you waiting for?

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