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The Sisters Weiss

The Sisters Weiss was published in paperback on 7 October 2014. You can order a copy from Amazon by clicking here.


In 1950’s Brooklyn, sisters Rose and Pearl Weiss grow up in a loving but strict ultra-Orthodox family, never dreaming of defying  their parents or their community’s unbending and intrusive strictures. Then, a chance meeting with a young French immigrant turns Rose’s world upside down, its once bearable demands suddenly tightening like a noose around her neck. Defiantly, she begins to live a secret life that shocks her family when it is discovered. Out of guilt and an overwhelming desire to be reconciled with those she loves, she agrees to an arranged marriage. But the night before the wedding, she commits an act so unforgivable it will exile her forever from her innocent young sister, her family and all she has ever known.

Forty years later, pious Pearl’s sheltered young daughter Rivka suddenly discovers the truth about the family outcast, her Aunt Rose, now a successful photographer. Inspired, but naïve and reckless, she sets off on a dangerous adventure that will stir up the ghosts of the past and alter the future in unimaginable ways for all involved.

“The secrets hold you to the very end, when the sisters confront the universal question: Whose memory is true to what really happened?”– Booklist

” …a series of heart-wrenching events … explodes in turmoil … unflinching and surprisingly suspenseful.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Ragen focuses on faith, family and the desire for artistic freedom as she builds a bridge between past and present. Her clear prose allows her characters to leap from the pages and readers to sympathize with them and completely understand their motivations. By delving into the religious (Hasidic) community she exposes the sisters’ struggle between their faith and longing for the freedom to express themselves as women. This is a story many women of different faiths can connect with as they struggle to find their personal heaven.” — RT Book Reviews

“The dichotomy between filial and religious duty and the desire for independence, freedom and self-expression may be a familiar theme, but Naomi Ragen’s treatment of this subject is exceptional.” — Historical Novel Society