Vera’s Will

By Shelley Ettinger

Vera Steiner lives through pogrom, poverty, epidemic ... but how can she go on after she loses everything?

In a time before anyone dares dream that love is a right, Vera pays for her deviance with lifelong loneliness. Yet this is not a throwback to the old doomed-lesbian tale. Vera survives. Fifty years later, in a new era, her granddaughter Randy comes of age and comes out of the closet. Randy throws herself into the struggle to do away with shame and secrecy–never knowing her own grandmother’s secret shame until it’s too late. Sweeping across the miles and over the years–from czarist Russia to sweatshop New Jersey, from the 1960s Motor City to the Manhattan of LGBTQ protests–VERA’S WILL takes the reader on a grand journey.

Set against the backdrop of war, depression, McCarthyism, civil rights, AIDS, this is a novel of the 20th century. This is a family saga. Most of all, though, this is Vera’s story, and Randy’s: a story about the human heart, and the unbreakable human will to love.

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