Thrilled Beyond Words!
Updated: Mar 8
In the Hands of Women will be released May, 2023
Flattered, humbled, flabbergasted, grateful, energized - I'm bubbling with emotion. I never expected to see the day I received a formal book offer - no less for a two-book deal.
It's always easiest for me to explain things in a story. This one began with Mathilda, my great-grandmother, who came to NYC in 1866 with her parents from Hamburg. She married at 16 years old to Abraham, a man 12 years her senior. Unfortunately, she likely died from breast or ovarian cancer in the early twentieth century, before my father was born in 1923 - the same diseases that have plagued my family for generations. After my diagnosis of both breast and ovarian cancers, I wrote a healing memoir (link below) and launched a fund tied to the OCRF, a national not-for-profit that raises money for cancer research. Every year, I dutifully write a solicitation letter hoping to raise another 5,000. I'm up to 67,000 now - all thanks to my loyal friends and family.
Three years ago, I was having health issues and decided to retire. I began writing The Space Between, a blog, a new hobby - something constructive and fun to do as I adjusted to retirement. After all, I'd been buried in an all-consuming career for decades, and free time was a genuinely new experience. In the fall of 2018, my Mathilda Fund appeal morphed into a big idea. While typing the request, I suddenly felt compelled to give this forgotten family member a life, albeit fictional - a story for a woman buried in history, whose name I finally discovered on Ancestry.com. One thing led to another; a two book series was drafted a couple of years later. The first one about Mathilda's life will be released in May 2024. Why, you ask? Well, it's a story for another blog.
On to my big announcement - The second book, a stand-alone in the series, In the Hands of Women, has been picked up by Level Best Books and due out in late May 2023. In the Hands of Women is a story of Mathilda's younger sister, Hannah, an obstetrician trainee at Johns Hopkins Medical School in 1900. The period was extraordinarily challenging for women. Birth control and abortion were marginally available, but both were illegal. Anesthesia in hospitals was recently introduced for childbirth, but childbed fever was still rampant, and maternal and infant mortality was frighteningly high. The Suffragette Movement was in full swing, but women were still twenty years away from the vote in one of the most ultra-conservative periods of US history.
I love writing and reading history - fiction and non-fiction- because it's packed with lessons from which we can learn. And there’s no debating that these events really occurred. So, although I hope this novel is entertaining, I’m also optimistic it imparts a lesson of caution and a reminder of the hundred-plus years women fought like hell for their rights. Rights we should never take for granted or casually relinquish.
Almost a Princess, My Life as a Two Time Cancer Survivor, by Jane Loeb Rubin ---- available on Amazon.com (royalties are donated to the Mathilda Fund)
To support the Mathilda Fund, please CLICK HERE.