"Yesterday's Child" is the gripping and unusual tale of courageous young man who, as a young boy, suffers the tragic loss of his mother, with whom he had lived with since her divorce from his father. After his mother's death he begins life anew in the picturesque South African city of Cape Town with his father, stepmother, and new siblings. What starts out as simple bar-mitzvah lessons blossoms into an abiding friendship with a local rabbi and his family. Despite his parents objections, he is drawn to the Torah and to his newfound friends as a thirsty traveler is drawn to an oasis in the desert. When he reaches adulthood, however, his seemingly brilliant and joyful future is suddenly shattered by startling revelations about his past. On the threshold of life's most critical decisions, he is thrust into the agony of dealing with dark secrets he cannot divulge to anyone besides his very closest friend. The reader watches with bated breath as the troubled young man embarks upon a voyage into his past, a voyage whose outcome will determine the very essence of his present and future. As in her previous novel, "On a Golden Chain," Ruth Benjamin has woven a thrilling, compelling and charming tale which could very well take place in our day and age in Jewish communities around the world. She writes with uncanny insight into the dynamics of a Jewish family torn by varying degrees of observance and sustains our undivided attention until the final, breath-taking conclusion.
by Ruth Benjamin