2023 has been one of the most unique years of my life. Never did I imagine at 70, I would be riding the crest of a wave, accomplishing a life dream, all in a near-perfect world of accomplished children and growing grandchildren. For me, it is awe-inspiring.
As a newcomer to the publishing industry, I have followed every direction from my mentors, writing coaches, and publisher, adjusting the work and scheduling as many book events and book clubs as possible. But the stunning surprises have come from the interactions with readers and the varied venues in which I’ve spoken. Who knew that a bakery and yoga studio would sponsor and host a monthly book club, a hospital system, and most recently, a jewelry gallery! I’ve even spoken with a local Shoprite Food Store about setting up their own book club. They’ve had work/life programs like softball leagues for years. But what about the non-athletes in the crowd? Or the physically disabled? Why not a book club? The temptation to veer off course into book marketing is tempting, especially with my business background, but I have two more considerable challenges nipping at my heels - two books in the trilogy pipeline, both with looming deadlines.
Threadbare is in final edits and will be published in late May 2024. I’m now receiving book cover blurbs and cover art. I received one blurb yesterday from the immensely talented Susan Jane Gilman:
“Rubin’s novel is a classic, delicious immigrant story with a twist. Set in 19th-century New York City— not the 20th— it’s loaded with history, and its protagonist, Tillie, is a headstrong, visionary teenage girl. Although Tillie becomes a woman far too fast, her indomitable spirit prevails. Her compelling story is one of resilience in the face of discrimination, economic hard times, and epidemics— and it resonates for the 21st century.
— Susan Jane Gilman, bestselling author of The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street.
Over There (my working title) takes my characters (yes, Hannah and Ben are both in the story) into the thick of the French battlefield hospitals of WW1, a war in which my two grandfathers served. That’s all I’m sharing for right now, but if you’re curious about how I jump-start my writing in the morning, listen to this! What a masterful call to arms. My family thinks I’ve finally lost my mind, but it fires up all my cylinders! The horn section knocks me right off my seat. Try to skip the crazy poop commercial:
And saving the best for last. This past July, I bumped into a lovely woman from Chicago at Grand Tetons National Park horse riding stable. Wow, did we connect. We gabbed the whole ride through the lush forest and foothills. Last week, she finished reading In the Hands of Women and wrote this fantastic review.
Enjoy your holidays, and I wish you a glorious 2024 with good health, peace, and prosperity.
Subject: Historical fiction at its finest!
“Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres of literature. In the Hands of Women by Jane Loeb Rubin does not disappoint and is a MUST-READ!
For some background, I had the privilege of meeting with Jane on a recent trip to Wyoming. I felt an instant connection with her; she is an authentic, intelligent, and remarkable woman with an exciting story. Jane is a cancer survivor and former healthcare executive with a zest for life and a drive to help others in many ways, one example being her cancer research fundraising efforts.
“In the Hands of Women” is a labor of love for Jane; you feel her passion come through on every page. The story takes place in NYC at the turn of the century, a tough time in history. Jewish immigrants were trying to make their way in the face of antisemitism. In addition, there was little medical advancement, especially in” women’s diseases,” exasperated by the oppression of women’s rights.
There are so many reasons that this book is a standout. First, I was hooked immediately, knowing that the inspiration behind this novel centered around one of the main characters (Tillie). Tillie was modeled after Jane’s great-grandmother, who lost her battle with a “woman’s disease” at a very young age. Jane honored her memory by telling Tillie’s life story as Jane imagined it. Second, Jane has a unique way of telling a story. She has a knack for describing each scene, depicting not only character traits and thoughts but also the scenery with such detail that I felt transported back to that period. I kept visualizing my grandfather, a Romanian immigrant who came to the country in the early 1900’s. I also connected with some of the references that stand the test of time, like Lemon Jell-O and the laws of Kashrut. Furthermore, Jane weaves in characters who were real people (socialites, Mrs. Garrett and Mrs. Thomson, as examples), which further educated me on the struggles of that era. One big AHA centered around Jewish Eastern vs. Western European immigration rivalry, as well as how the immigration issues back then compare to today.
In closing, trust me when I say you will love reading this book and gain new insights, fall in love with Hannah, the main heroine, and get to know the other characters. I am so excited for the prequel to better understand how it began.
Lisa Lesser, Chicago