My first novel, DANCING IN THE DARK, is the story of a girl whose passion for dance conflicts with her family and her faith. Raised in a haredi (ultra-orthodox) Jewish home, she ultimately rejects an orthodox lifestyle in order to pursue a career as a dancer.
A few months after the book was published, the librarian at Mount Scopus College asked me to come to the school during Book Week to discuss the novel with the Year 9 students. I was delighted by the invitation and accepted with alacrity. Always glad of an opportunity to speak at a school, I was especially pleased to be invited to that one. Not only is Mount Scopus College the largest Jewish day school in Melbourne, it is also the school I went to for my entire twelve years of schooling, and one that all three of my children attended at one point in time.
Personal reasons aside, I felt that Mount Scopus students in particular (the vast majority of whom are from non-observant Jewish homes), would be fascinated by the haredi world my novel portrays. Although I did not write the book for a primarily Jewish readership, I felt that it would be of special interest to Jewish readers; it would be an eye-opener for the many students unaware of the insular lives led by some who share their heritage, and I hoped it would generate some interesting classroom discussion.~ read more ~