Author and journalist Sarit Yishai-Levi takes on a story of great scope in her debut novel. A runaway bestseller in Israel, THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF JERUSALEM (Thomas Dunne Books; on-sale April 5, 2016) has sold over 160,000 copies and has spend two years and counting on the bestseller list. Yishai-Levi tells a cross-generational tale of women who have been unlucky in love. The rich history of Jerusalem is more than just a backdrop to this story, as it shapes the lives of the characters who inhabit it, for better or for worse.
Gabriela’s mother Luna is the most beautiful woman in all of Jerusalem, though her famed beauty and charm seem to be reserved for everyone but her daughter. Ever since Gabriela can remember, she and Luna have struggled to connect. But when tragedy strikes, Gabriela senses there’s more to her mother than painted nails and lips. Desperate to understand their relationship, Gabriela pieces together the stories of her family’s previous generations – from Great-Grandmother Mercada the renowned healer, to Grandma Rosa who cleaned houses for the English, to Luna who had the nicest legs in Jerusalem. But as she uncovers shocking secrets, forbidden romances, and the family curse that links the women together, Gabriela must face a past and present far more complex than she ever imagined.
Set against the Golden Age of Hollywood, the dark days of World War II, and the swinging ’70’s, THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF JERUSALEM follows generations of unforgettable women as they forge their own paths through times of dramatic change. With great humor and heart, Sarit Yishai-Levi has given us a powerful story of love and forgiveness – and the unexpected and enchanting places we find each.
Yishai-Levi was inspired to write this story because of her own family history. The writing process brought her back to her roots, healed old wounds, and unfolded complicated ties. THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF JERUSALEM is a dazzling novel of mothers and daughters, stories told and untold, and the ties that bind four generations of women.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarit Yishai-Levi is an English-speaking journalist and author of four non-fiction books. Her debut novel, The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem, was a #1 bestseller and won the Publishers Association’s Gold and Platinum Prizes and the Steimatzky Prize for bestselling book of the year when it was published in Israel. She lives in Tel Aviv.
PRAISE FOR THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF JERUSALEM
“Moving back and forth through time and points of view, Yishai-Levi paints a sympathetic and compelling portrait of the complex relationship between mother and daughter. Add to this the fascinating backdrop of Jerusalem during the first half of the 20th century and readers are gifted with a meticulously researched history of the city’s Sephardic community.” — Romantic Times