Author S.W. Leicher—Acts of Atonement
Acts of Atonement— a timely novel about two women—one Latina, one Jewish—living against expectations
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5TH, 2023 AT TEMPLE BETH AM IN THE CHAPEL
S.W. Leicher grew up in the Bronx in a bi-cultural (Latina and Jewish) home. Her most recent novel has been called “a much-needed, eye-opening, and affectionate introduction to three ‘outsider cultures’—Jewish, Latina, and gay—that are so often misjudged in this country.” Yet, given her deep ties to all three groups—and the alarming surge in bigotry and violence that those groups were experiencing as she wrote—her work could not help but be timely, while also offering an engaging and deeply affecting story of love, family, and faith.
In ACTS OF ATONEMENT, author S.W. Leicher focuses on Serach Gottesman and Paloma Rodriguez, who share a home in Brooklyn and have built a life together. In exchange, each woman made the decision to renounce her past and sever ties with certain family members. An accountant with a brilliant mind, Serach happily escaped her rigidly observant Orthodox family in Boro Park and has made peace with being estranged from her widowed mother and younger sisters. A gifted nurse with a generous heart, Paloma was determined to leave her childhood in the South Bronx—and her self-absorbed Colombian immigrant mother—behind. However, despite their differences, she works to maintain a relationship with her only sibling, her older brother Manny, and his three sons—especially Ramon, who is “different,” developmentally and emotionally, and fiercely protective of his tias. As the novel progresses, the couple’s relationship is tested—by a speech, a death, and an act of violence. Ultimately, Serach and Paloma find strength and healing with the help of old friends and unexpected allies, religious rituals and beliefs, and their unshakable devotion to one another.
LGBT+ History Month is a month-long annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual trans, and non-binary history, including the history of LGBT+ rights and related civil rights movements. It is celebrated in February each year to recognize the creativity, imagination and innovation of LGBTQ+ creators throughout history.