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Beyond the Ghetto Gates

A novel by

When French troops occupy the Italian port city of Ancona, freeing the city’s Jews from their repressive ghetto, it unleashes a whirlwind of progressivism and brutal backlash as two very different cultures collide. Mirelle, a young Jewish maiden, must choose between her duty—an arranged marriage to a wealthy Jewish merchant—and her love for a dashing French Catholic soldier. Meanwhile, Francesca, a devout Catholic, must decide if she will honor her marriage vows to an abusive and murderous husband when he enmeshes their family in the theft of a miracle portrait of the Madonna.

Set during the turbulent days of Napoleon Bonaparte’s Italian campaign (1796–97), Beyond the Ghetto Gates is both a cautionary tale for our present moment, with its rising tide of anti-Semitism, and a story of hope—a reminder of a time in history when men and women of conflicting faiths were able to reconcile their prejudices in the face of a rapidly changing world.

Genre: Historical

Praise for this book

"Cameron’s vivid page-turner delivers a shattering portrait of love, lust, war, betrayal and faith inside the gates of a famed Jewish ghetto in late 18th century Italy. Best of all, Beyond the Ghetto Gates gives us Mirelle, a brave and brilliant young heroine who learns that faith in one’s self is the greatest faith of all." - Laurie Lico Albanese

"I fell in love with the protagonist, Mirelle, intelligent, passionate, and determined to find her place and follow her heart in a turbulent time. A totally new and fascinating view of Napoleonic Europe, teeming with well-researched historical detail and characters you’ll root for on every page." - Nancy Bilyeau

"Against the backdrop of Napoleon’s invasion of Italy, Cameron weaves an immersive tale of a young Jewish woman torn between her filial duty and passion for a young Catholic soldier. Her portrait of Jews and Catholics grappling with social upheaval in an 18th-century harbor town shines a light on the challenges of nationalism, religion, and bigotry that still plague society today." - Talia Carner

"I devoured this engrossing, passionate story of a young Jewish woman in 1796 who wants only to work with her beloved father in his workshop. But even after Napoleon invades Italy, liberates her city, and breaks down the ghetto gates, customs still enclose Mirelle both as a Jew and a woman. And outside the gates are waiting the riots of anti-Semitism, tragic loss, and a difficult love. These pages are splashed with brilliant colors between the dark corners of this lost world where ghetto buildings are built so close and high that people cannot see the stars. You will live and breathe this young woman’s struggles to have what she wants and still honor her family until the unexpected last paragraphs - and then for a long time after." - Stephanie Cowell

"With vivid clarity and keen historical insight, Michelle Cameron sweeps us into the unusual setting of Italy during the Napoleonic invasion, and the plight of two courageous women of different faiths, who must fight for their right to love and live during a time of tumultuous upheaval." - C W Gortner

"An intimate coming-of-age story. A defining moment in European and Jewish history. Riveting and memorable." - Mitchell James Kaplan

"In this sweeping saga, Cameron draws a compelling portrait of life in late 18th-century Italy, when the citizens of war-torn Ancona face the challenges of their world transformed by Napoleon’s liberating army. From the Jews who are suddenly freed from the restrictive confines of the city’s ghetto, to the Catholics whose deep devotion is set on fire by a miraculous weeping portrait of the Madonna, Beyond the Ghetto Gates captures the double-edged sword of passion and faith." - Judith Lindbergh

"Beyond the Ghetto Gates is one of those novels which is so evocative, so compelling, that after you've finished you're left thinking about the book for days. Beautifully written and completely engaging!" - Michelle Moran

"Michelle Cameron’s powerful novel Beyond the Ghetto Gates is a passionately compelling saga of an ancient way of life on the threshold of radical change. Young Mirelle longs to dedicate her life to running her aging father’s workshop, but her rabbi forbids her on account of her sex. Chafing against the constraints of both her gender and the suffocating strictures of the Ancona ghetto, Mirelle sees no way forward but dutiful marriage. Yet Napoleon’s armies, sweeping across Europe, threaten to change her way of life forever." - Mary Sharratt

"Fascinating! Cameron shines a light on a rarely explored facet of the Napoleonic era set in the Italian provinces with a spirited Jewish woman at its center. Laced with vibrant detailing and endearing characters, Beyond the Ghetto Gates is a compelling and satisfying read." - Heather Webb

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Used availability for Michelle Cameron's Beyond the Ghetto Gates

Paperback Editions

April 2020 : USA Paperback

Title: Beyond the Ghetto Gates: A Novel
Author(s): Michelle Cameron
ISBN: 1-63152-850-5 / 978-1-63152-850-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: She Writes Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   

Kindle Editions

April 2020 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Beyond the Ghetto Gates: A Novel
Author(s): Michelle Cameron
Publisher: She Writes Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU