A Fist Around the Heart

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Two sisters are forever impacted by the events of their childhood in Russia.

The mystery surrounding Anna Grieve and her mentally fragile older sister, Esther, begins in Russia in the 1880s. The persecution of Jews has become so vicious that the girls’ mother decides to send her children to Winnipeg with her wealthy employers. Her intention is to join them, but the sisters never see their parents again. Frightened and cut adrift, each girl reacts differently to her new family in North America. Esther’s beauty and glamorous lifestyle hide the fact that she is losing herself to mental illness brought on by a trauma during her childhood in Russia. Anna does not understand the depth of her sister's torment, and spends her life torn between taking care of her and escaping her. As soon as she can, Anna leaves for New York and makes a new life as a women’s rights activist with an illegal contraceptive business in Manhattan. When Anna receives the unexpected news of Esther’s apparent suicide on If Day in Winnipeg - the day a simulated Nazi attack took place to raise money for war bonds - she returns to the city to face the possibility that If Day and Esther's early trauma are inexorably linked to her death.

Praise & Recognition

A Fist Around the Heart is a dark psychological gem. Foreword Reviews
[A Fist Around the Heart] commendably combines the sleuthing of a mystery novel and the sweep of a historian's horizon with an outpouring of hope for a better society. The Canadian Jewish News


Publication Date: April 10, 2018

Genre: Adult Fiction

Product Format: Paperback

Pages: 240

ISBN: 978-1-77260-065-0

Heather Chisvin

About the Author

Heather Chisvin

Heather Chisvin is a former newspaper and magazine journalist, a radio and television documentary producer, an advertising copywriter and a teacher at the Ontario College of Art and Design. This is her first work of fiction. She lives in Port Hope, Ontario.
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