Anna Solomon has a fun story about coming across the idea for The Little Bride. She was googling herself, and found a woman named Anna Solomon Freudenthal who was a Jewish pioneer in the 19th century.
The launch party for The Little Bride was held at the Tenement Museum. Although not found on most tourist agendas for New York City, it is a fascinating place and a wonderfully appropriate venue for a book about a young woman immigrating to the United States. Next time you’re in the city, take a tour!
Twice the winner of a Pushcart Prize for her short fiction, this is Solomon’s first novel.
Adult/High School– In late 19th-century Russia, Minna Losk carries the stigma of family disgrace. If only she can manage a lasting marriage, she knows she can find redemption and a chance to live for herself, a luxury she was denied when she lost her parents. A 16-year-old servant, she longs to escape draining physical labor and the horrors of the pogroms. Hoping for a new life in America, Minna signs with Rosenfeld’s Bridal Service. After enduring a probing physical and psychological exam, she’s declared fit for a match and sent to the hardscrabble South Dakota Territory. Her husband-to-be falls far short of her dreams; devoutly Orthodox Max is more than twice her age. He is more suited to Talmudic study than farming, and his homesteading abilities are sorely lacking. His teenage sons look to a more skilled, Christian neighbor as a role model. Minna struggles to make house in a crude one-room dugout while submitting to her spousal obligations. Her mind races. Will Max turn her out when she fails to bear a child? Does he realize she doesn’t pray? Worst of all, does he see that she’s in love with his oldest son? First-time novelist Solomon fully fleshes out all of her characters, making them believable and sympathetic. The Little Bride explores themes of love, family, community, and the consequences of fervent belief. What will God forgive? Solomon turns her extensive research on Jewish homesteaders into fascinating, page-turning historical fiction. Rich in language and detail, this novel will appeal to teens who enjoyed Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books and are ready for more adult storytelling.–Paula J. Gallagher, Baltimore County Public Library, MD