Genre: Women’s Fiction
Word Count: 75,000
Three best friends are challenged when one woman’s crumbling sanity threatens to destroy their friendship. Can two of them save the third woman from destroying herself and the relationship? A darker, Jewish Steel Magnolias.
If the soul of their small synagogue, Bnai Israel, rested in the sanctuary, its heartbeat emanated from the kitchen. Naomi always said the service brought them to the shul, but the food and the lunchtime oneg made them a community.
As she walked into the stainless steel mecca, the tension in her neck and shoulders eased—just a bit. The kitchen offered a brief respite from the stress and loneliness that became part of her life the day her ex-husband moved out. Surrounded by her friends, life seemed more bearable—she didn’t feel alone.
Three of the women, who bore the bulk of the kitchen duties, gathered around the big steel worktable. In a rhythm honed over the years, they chopped, diced and sliced, preparing the kiddush luncheon for the congregation, sitting inside the sanctuary.
Naomi washed her hands and moved straight to her post—cutting bagels. She listened as her friends discussed the merits of adding quinoa to salads. Across the room, Miriam leaned against the countertop, sipping coffee and appearing bored by the subject. She joined them, in the kitchen, but refused to help, preferring to talk, which was okay with Naomi. Miriam claimed a fear of cooking because of a traumatizing childhood incident involving a frying pan, but Naomi never believed her story.
“Somebody has to fish it out.” Laurie gestured with her head toward a giant jar of pickled herring. “And it’s not going to be me. I did it last week.”