Raaya Admoni takes readers to a time of hardship, when the People of the Book struggled to survive a vicious campaign of extermination waged across Europe while the whole world was at war. Shtetl Dreams is a tale of historical fiction that draws from real events to tell the story of a Jewish family as the years go by.

It begins with Sarka, who at the age of 13 is fated to be married to a 65-year-old widower and rabbi because of her mother’s dream. She tries to defy her family’s will even as her youthful dreams of marrying for love are squashed. Meanwhile, little Shaime is a 10 year old boy who is orphaned along with his siblings and while the rest of them receive homes, he is deemed too old to be adopted and is sent to work as a saddler’s apprentice in Lublin, where his host family treats him unkindly. He dreams of having a normal childhood, but the Second World War arrives. After the carnage, Sheindel, Sarka’s daughter, and Shaime are among the survivors and their paths cross. Readers will see if fate proves kinder to them than the nightmares of the tragic losses that haunt their sleepless nights.

“Even before their fate was sealed by the Nazi invasion, the Jews in the little Polish town of Belzitz faced great adversity. Yet there were always dreams, some bringing consolation and others shaping their destinies.”Admoni says. In his sweeping historical novel, he traces a riveting family saga through three generations. The personal stories of Sheindel and the orphaned Shaime are interwoven into a rich tapestry of a Jewish shtetl—breathing life into an entire world of language, culture, and customs—a world of which hardly a trace has survived.