Jewish Book Event

August 28 at 7:30pm

Celebrating Author Fran Hawthorne (Rabbi Linda’s Cousin) and her new novel “The Heirs” and featuring a live taping for the WriteBoom podcast with interview by podcast host, Jason Noxon.

Fran Hawthorne has spent a three-decade career writing award-winning nonfiction, including eight books, mainly about consumer activism and business social responsibility. For instance, her book Ethical Chic: The Inside Story of the Companies We Think We Love (Beacon Press) was named one of the best books of 2012 by Library Journal.

Now she has published her debut novel, The Heirs, set in New Jersey in 1999, with a theme of multi-generational Holocaust guilt.


After breaking her hip in a serious accident, Eleanor Ritter’s mother, Rose, a Holocaust survivor now living in New Jersey, suddenly starts talking about her harrowing childhood in Poland and the taboo subjects she has refused to discuss for half a century -– even speaking in long-forgotten Polish. Around the same time, Eleanor learns that the parents of her nine-year-old son’s soccer teammate, Tadek, are Catholics from Poland.

As Eleanor becomes fixated with digging into the histories of both her mother and Tadek’s family, her obsession strains her already difficult relationship with Rose, as well as her marriage to Nick, an IT technician who is himself caught up in preparing for the feared Y2K turn-of-the-millennium. Eleanor starts flirting heavily with the soccer coach, ignoring her twelve-year-old daughter’s growing rebellion and her son’s misery when he becomes the team pariah for badly messing up several games. Meanwhile, the “sure-fire” tech stock that Eleanor bought behind Nick’s back is losing money. Even as her quest nourishes an odd friendship with Tadek’s mother, it forces Eleanor to face the unavoidable questions:

How many generations does guilt carry on? What did your grandparents do to my grandparents?