My friend Michelle Cameron’s powerful new novel, Beyond the Ghetto Gates, is a deep dive into women’s history that I thoroughly enjoyed.
This is a passionately compelling saga of an ancient way of life on the threshold of radical change. Young Mirelle longs to dedicate her life to running her aging father’s workshop, but her rabbi forbids her on account of her sex. Chafing against the constraints of both her gender and the suffocating strictures of the Ancona Ghetto, Mirelle sees no way forward but dutiful arranged marriage. Yet Napoleon’s armies, sweeping across Europe, threaten to change her way of life forever.
I learned so much from reading Michelle’s novel and from my conversation with her below. I hope my readers are likewise compelled! Reading is our great solace in this time of lockdown.
Mary Sharratt: Michelle, tell us about your new novel, Beyond the Ghetto Gates.