Jennifer’s Jewish books revolve around the holidays...
One of the reasons why I wanted to write romances with a Jewish slant was to include holidays that most people might not be familiar with, and which aren’t usually found in romances. Most holidays discussed in romance are Christian and if a Jewish holiday is mentioned, it’s Chanukah.
Purim and Passover are different, and they’re great for romance!
Passover is the holiday that celebrates the Hebrews’ escape from Egypt. It’s the story of Moses and the ten plagues and the parting of the Reed Sea. With its theme of freedom, it provides a wonderful conflict, because truly, freedom from anything can count.
In my book, Miriam’s Surrender, Miriam prepares for Passover during the story. The holiday requires a lot of preparation, as there is massive cleaning and cooking to be done. All traces of bread and bread products have to be removed, and most people spend weeks cleaning it out of every crevice in their homes. And the cooking! We only eat unleavened food during the eight-day holiday and the smells from the ovens and stoves are mouthwatering.
I deal with freedom in this story by having Miriam and Josh, the hero, each need to break free from their pasts and their need for control before they can truly find love.
Purim is a holiday that celebrates the saving of the Jews of Persia. Esther married the King before telling him she was Jewish. Haman, an advisor to the King, wanted to get rid of all the Jews and Esther foiled his plot. We celebrate the victory with dancing and singing and the wearing of costumes. It’s a joyous holiday.
The theme for this holiday is hiding one’s identity, also something that makes for excellent storytelling. In The Seduction of Esther, my heroine, Samara, hides her true nature and my hero, Nathaniel, hides his past. By learning they each have nothing to hide, the resolution of their romance is even sweeter.
What themes do you like to read about in books?