Laura Gene Alpern  writer

Book   Author

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Falling in love was the last thing on Marcie's mind when she came to Milan from Philadelphia and got a great job in an international company-where a charming Italian named Roberto happens to be her closest coworker.

When Roberto tells her about his unhappy love affair with another woman, Marcie is deeply moved-and at the same time realizes that she has fallen in love with him. Roberto seems to be falling in love with her too. But how could he even think of starting a love affair right after ending another one? He is bound by ties he can't escape-a wife he doesn't love and a seriously ill daughter he cares very much about. She wasn't sure she wanted any part of such an ill-fated affair.

Marcie falls asleep burdened with this realization. She awakens the next morning in Roberto's body. This has to be a dream, she thinks, until she goes to her office and collides with the real Roberto-who has just had a dream of waking up in her body. Suppose they were really in each other's bodies? Can forbidden love be that strong? ”

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When Roberto spoke at last, his story came out in bits and pieces.

"Bene. You know. It's just that. I mean, that Giulietta," he muttered. "Two weeks now. Since it's over. Can't eat, haven't slept."

Marcie gasped. "Giulietta, in Accounting?"

He lowered his eyes to study his coffee cup. "Thought you knew."

The two coworkers were seated at a table in the carpeted Company coffee lounge, five floors above the street. In the pause that followed Roberto's confession, a constant stream of cars honked and clattered through Milan's pre-weekend getaway routine.

No, she hadn't known.


Earlier work

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Manischewitz the Matzo Family is a real-life family saga spanning four generations. Long before "Man oh Manischewitz" became a household word, a young woman in a poverty-stricken corner of Eastern Europe dreamt of a better future.

When Nesha's father announces to his daughter the news of her betrothal, the young woman knows next to nothing about the bridegroom who is her destiny. He is pious and learned in Bible and Talmud, says her father. But it is another word in her father's description of the young man that catches her fancy: ambitious.

Nesha will have her dreams fulfilled when her young husband takes her to America and starts his little bakery destined to become a business known across the country for its wine and kosher foods.

But will wealth and a famous name bring her happiness?

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One Sabbath morning Nesha felt a sort of electricity in the air. It began at home as she dressed, and it pursued her down the street and into the synagogue, where she found her girlfriends clustered together upstairs in the women's section of the synagogue.

Nesha and her unmarried friends always attended Sabbath prayer services at the big synagogue rather than the small neighborhood synagogue. Upstairs in the women's balcony, they could sit and gossip freely.

As soon as Nesha arrived, Feigel grasped her arm and whispered to her excitedly.

"Your father has found a bridegroom for you, I can tell."