About the Book
For ages 12 and up
At 15, Sally Gottesman, a Jewish girl growing up in Colorado in the 1880s, meets Daniel Rabinowitz, a poor Russian immigrant. He has arrived in Denver with his terminally ill mother, who is under the care of Sally’s physician father. At the woman’s deathbed with her father, Sally hears a surprising exchange between Daniel and his mother, in which he intimates that Sally, whom he scarcely knows, is his shayne maydel (Yiddish for beautiful girl). Although Sally is already involved with a wealthy young man considered a “good catch,” she gradually comes to believe that Daniel is a true soul mate and eventually breaks off with the other man, declares her love to Daniel, and promises to wait for him to complete medical school while she finishes her own schooling. The cultural details of the romance add rich texture. . . . The novel’s strength lies in its likable characters, especially Sally—a charming, intelligent girl.