the story

At the center of LOVE, SARAH is a woman whose difficult journey is the dominant thread in the story. Through their personal struggles, Sarah and the people who fill her life, reveal the mysteries of families, friendships and ambition. Their intertwined lives also reflect the complex reality of America during the Second World War.

Sarah Rosen is the oldest of five children in a struggling, working class, Jewish family in the Bronx. In 1932, when her father disappears, she hides her fears and doubts and becomes the emotional and financial support of the family.

Searching for a better job leads her to City Hall where Fiorello LaGuardia has just become Mayor of New York City. He is impatient, in a hurry to make changes and very demanding. She is one of many secretaries in the Mayor’s office and determined to succeed. When LaGuardia’s personal assistant cannot take the strain of the job and leaves, senior staff recommend Sarah.

Sarah’s life at City Hall challenges her to see the world in new ways. She finds an ally and friend in Eli, the Mayor’s press secretary. At the beginning of the War, he explains something she had never suspected — that the newspapers were hiding important stories on the back pages. Eli is devastated by the lack of interest in saving Europe’s Jews and vows to write a book so the world will know and never repeat the tragedy. He also helps Sarah in her search for work as a volunteer.

Despite her attempts to keep the family connected, Sarah’s family dissolve further after the bombing of Pearl Harbor . One brother becomes an unwilling Military Policeman in the Manzanar internment camp. His experience and quiet rebellion become an  exploration of the inner story of internment camps. Another brother grows up under enemy fire and anti-Semitism in the Philippines. In his last letter home, he confesses the secret that haunts him, a secret which has defined much of the family’s life.

With her brothers in the Army, Sarah writes weekly letters to hold the family together and she looks for a chance to play a more active role in the War effort. Because she needs to keep the job at City Hall, she looks for work as a volunteer and becomes a counselor at an organization helping refugees build a new life. She finds the work is more demanding than she could have imagined, almost more than she can bear. Towards the end of the War, the organization becomes a temporary home for children secretly smuggled out of Europe. They are another window into the tragedies of war.

LOVE, SARAH, is complete. The novel and I are looking for a publisher.