About the Book

Scent of Jasmine
The author uses memoir to educate, to illuminate, and to simply share; her words enrich her community as well. Nitza is able to take her life experiences – losing a fiancé to war, the experience of war, the joys of friendship, the awakening of her sexuality, bidding farewell to aging parents and burying them, supporting a husband through the debilitation of multiple sclerosis, as well as the challenges of parenting and of giving birth.

It was in Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War that her life transformed. Her fiancé was killed during the first week in the Sinai Desert at the age of 24. She was twenty-two and realized that she had to document the experience of the war in some way. It would become a way of healing from terrible grief and loss.

While Israel is the center of the memoir, New Jersey holds importance as does San Francisco. Adolescence and budding sexuality is part of growing up in New Jersey, and reclaiming her identity as a young adult woman is a way of healing from her loss occurs in San Francisco.

Love Letters To My Mother
In The Book of Ruth, the love between a daughter and her mother-in-law is stronger than anything else—sustaining and all consuming. Modeled on this biblical tale, Love Letters explores author Nitza Agam’s own close relationship with her mother, Naomi.

Using a mixture of prose and poetry, Agam weaves patches of memories together to create a literary quilt depicting the two intertwined lives. She reflects on the lunches of tuna sandwiches and chocolate pudding her mother lovingly made her when Agam was a child, as well as her helplessness in the face of her mother’s incurable autoimmune disease.

The love they shared was unconditional, and it reflected something fundamental about family bonds. No matter where Agam traveled—whether to summer camp or halfway around the world—her mother always wrote her long, reflective letters.

And then the world ruptured as her mother lay dying in a hospital in California. Agam’s sense of loss was deep and searing when her mother’s death came all too soon.

Responding to those many years of letters from her mother with a love letter of her own, Agam has crafted a deeply personal, moving tribute to all mothers that will resonate with women of all ages.

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