Rashi’s Daughters, Book 1: Joheved and Rashi’s Daughters, Book 2: Miriam. Anton won the 2006 PMA Benjamin Franklin Award for Best New Voice award for Book 1. Rich in Jewish background and tradition, both stories relate fascinating tales of these women’s lives in 11th Century medieval France.
Joheved is the eldest of Rashi’s daughters. I was hooked on the first page of her story as she lies in bed thinking of why her family has cats, which are there to protect her father’s precious scholarly manuscripts from being eaten by mice. They only have three cats; some more serious scholars have seven or eight! Since the father, Rashi, has no sons, it falls upon him to teach his daughters what his manuscripts contain—all of the details that make up Talmudic commentary—and this in a time when women were not allowed to be Jewish scholars. Both Joheved and Miriam are captured as strong Jewish women who lead valuable and interesting lives. Do either of them fall in love? They wouldn’t be in our romance section if they didn’t! Note: The author has an interesting blog called “Rashi’s Daughters” at http://www.rashisdaughters.com/blog/
— Sharon McLaurin, Romance Selector