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New novel imagines a world with Jews in hiding

The Chosen People are “chosen to be persecuted and to suffer,” says a character in “The Bones of the World.”

Author Betsy L. Ross. Credit: Courtesy.
Author Betsy L. Ross. Credit: Courtesy.

Author, poet, documentarian and retired lawyer Betsy L. Ross penned her debut novel, The Bones of the World, in response to antisemitism, which she calls one of the most enduring forms of suffering, she told Idaho Press.

Rachel, the protagonist, hides in a mansion near a cemetery to survive a global assault on Jews. Another Jewish character struggles to understand and respond to antisemitism.

“What does it mean to be the Chosen People? You might say we were chosen to be persecuted and to suffer,” he says. “How then do we act in the moments of persecution? Do we fight back, or are we docile in accepting our fate?”

Ross previously wrote and directed a 2017 documentary, “Looking for David,” about her son’s death in 2012 from an opioid overdose. Grappling with that loss, she realized that “there was something else in suffering, a gift of some kind.”

According to Ross, “that is worked out in the book.”

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