Monday, February 20, 2012

City of Slaughter-Cynthia Drew

City of Slaughter

Cynthia Drew

Fithian Press/Daniel & Daniel Publishers, Mar 10 2012, $15.95

ISBN: 9781564745149

In 5661 (1899 in the Julian calendar) in the Jewish village Lucava, Reuven Akselrod the printer provides seditious documents for those Russians outlawed as traitors. The Cossacks burn Lucava to the ground killing Reuven and his wife Yona. Their daughters (thirteen years old Carsie and nine years old Lilia escape in a wagon driven away by disgraced Cossack Mikheladze. They make it to Trushkeny, but Lilia suffers from typhus. Max Siegel takes the three into his tavern where Mikheladze tends to the child. Lilia recovers but the kind Cossack catches the fever and dies. Months later Max proposes to Carsie who reluctantly accepts. However, sneaky felonious postman Zirl Bakhton needs the siblings to leave as they can read so he arranges for the sisters to travel in the caravan to the west sponsored by affluent Rothschild, but not before stealing most of the money.

The two sisters arrive in New York where they live with relatives in the overcrowded Lower East Side. Each obtains work in the sweatshops and by 1911 both are employed at the Triangle Waist Company while Carsie still dreams of becoming a milliner owner of her own shop.

City Of Slaughter is an excellent historical fiction novel that focuses on a Jew’s life under Pogrom Russia and in teeming New York. Character driven by courageous Carsie who watches loved ones die due to mankind’s inhumanity, but she refuses to quit on her life’s aspiration. Fans will relish this strong look at the plight, dreams, setbacks and triumph of a Jew who is far from an American princess as she brings a spotlight on the first quarter of the twentieth century.

Harriet Klausner

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