Rue des Rosiers

Sarah’s lack of self led to her pregnancy and abortion at 16, a procedure she views as being both bad and good at the same time. Anchorless, she uses the tosses of a “lucky penny” to make most decisions for her. However, she’s also attached to the biblical story of Belshazzar’s Feast, and the prophet Daniel’s assurance that the king has been judged by the Almighty, and found wanting. When her oldest sister Rose has a much-desired baby born dead, Sarah wonders if this isn’t God’s balancing of accounts for her own “selfish” act.

Having recently left her job at a garden centre in Toronto, an early instance of her sticking up for herself, Sarah finds her way to Paris with Michael, a young man she is struggling mightily to stay with. There, touring some of the famed gardens of the City of Light, living in the “Jewish quarter,” she begins to see a direction for her life. But it’s 1982, and Abu Nidal terrorists attack the restaurant she and Michael are in. Sarah knows exactly what to do for a change, try to save another person’s life. Can she survive and continue on her newfound path? Or is this the Almighty’s final settling up of her accounts?

Rhea Tregabov has used her formidable skills at imagery, metaphor and storytelling to create a powerful emotional roller-coaster of a coming-of-age novel.