Beyond the Silk Mills

The Story 

This forthcoming family saga interweaves two timeless struggles, one societal and the other familial.  Paterson, New Jersey in 1913 represents a unique time in history when the conflict between the workers and the bosses of the silk mills reflects America’s struggle with the developing labor movement.

The immigrant Epstein family saga, with its well-drawn characters, plot twists, and a dark family secret mirrors this battle. Emma comes to America with dreams of amassing great wealth, but is disillusioned with the reality of her job peddling corsets door to door. She takes wealth-building into her own hands when she realizes that her husband, Meyer, a socialist who fights for workers’ rights in the silk mills, will never help her to achieve the success she desires.

The perils of Emma’s obsessive drive for wealth and position and the secret in her past fuel her tumultuous relationship with her children and threaten to cost her more than she had bargained for.

This historical novel takes Emma and her family through the turbulent years of the early twentieth century including the flu epidemic, WWI, and the Roaring Twenties. It depicts how each family member copes with his or her own conflict during this period of unrest.

The History

On these pages I reveal my sources and amplify the historical events that are depicted in the novel.


I’m a child of the 1950’s, born in Paterson, NJ. I attended Public School Number 13 and 20, Eastside High School, Fair Lawn High School, and Paterson State College, now known as William Paterson University. I left the area to go to graduate school and have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1968.

In this section you will find vignettes about my childhood memories—the weather, the neighborhood, the candy store, family, Jewish life.  

LTR Productions

For the past seven years I’ve interviewed and recorded the precious life stories of my diverse and fascinating clients under the business name of LTR Productions. Some of these personal stories describe farm life during the 30’s depression, converting and living as a devout Mormon, growing up in a Polish shtetl, fleeing from the Russian invasion of East Germany in 1945, and living a through a 1930’s high profile marriage scandal.

Lately I’ve devoted more time to my own writing than to clients’, but I still consult with a few people who wish to write their own memoirs.

-Banner photo of ‘man at a silk loom’courtesy of the “American Labor Museum/Botto House National Landmark”  

Connect with me to learn more about ‘Beyond the Silk Mills”

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