Elyce Wakerman presents and signs A Tale of Two Citizens at the Contra Costa Jewish Book Festival
Congregation B’nai Shalom, 74 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek
A lie is the only thing that can get twenty-year-old Harry Himelbaum past the cold scrutiny of Ellis Island’s immigration official, Will Brown. A lie that locks them in a deadly battle.
It is 1929. At home, economic depression and dust storms ravage America, and abroad, the goose step of Nazism is intensifying. Widespread fear of “the other” has reached a fever pitch. Against this tumultuous backdrop, two families share the spotlight in this sweeping saga: the Himelbaums of Poland, and the Browns of Iowa.
All Harry Himelbaum wants is to live somewhere happy, and to send for the wife and child he must deny having. But Will Brown stands in the way. Will is a young, zealously patriotic Iowa lawyer, who has dedicated himself to staunchly upholding the nation’s laws and keeping his America pure. Little does he expect that his childhood sweetheart and new wife, Barbara, would form a romantic attachment for Harry, the man he’s sworn to keep out.
Based on the true story of the author’s father, this heart-wrenching clash of love and loyalties is a picture of an America torn between being a symbol of hope for immigrants and a proud nation fighting to re-create itself.