The author on how she and the dogs were united:
I found Henry when I was working in TV. I used to take long walks whenever I had to come up with story ideas and one day there he was looking terrified and hungry. I tried to coax him with kind words, but he kept running away. I finally gave up and went to Jack in the Box for a plain hamburger, no pickles, no ketchup or mustard. Well, the rest they say is history. Only it’s not really, because Henry had had a terrible life and hadn’t been socialized. He’d growl and show his teeth to everyone he’d meet. The vet said he would never make a family pet and advised me to put him down. But instead I put the vet down or at least erased her number from my contacts and now, after fifteen years, Henry is the friendliest dog you’d ever want to meet. Except if you happen to be another dog and then he still growls and shows his teeth.About Susan Sherman's The Little Russian, from the publisher:
Bessie came to us from Downtown Rescue. She had belonged to homeless people who were placed in a shelter that didn’t allow dogs. By now she has completely forgotten her roots and is...[read on]
The Little Russian spotlights an exciting new voice in historical fiction, an assured debut that should appeal to readers of Away by Amy Bloom or Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier. The novel tells the story of Berta Alshonsky, who revels in childhood memories of her time spent with a wealthy family in Moscow –a life filled with salons, balls and all the trappings of the upper class — very different from her current life as a grocer’s daughter in the Jewish townlet of Mosny. So when a mysterious and cultured wheat merchant walks into the grocery, Berta’s life is forever altered. She falls in love, unaware that he is a member of the Bund, The Jewish Worker’s League, smuggling arms to the shtetls to defend them against the pogroms sweeping the Little Russian countryside.Learn more about the book and author at Susan Sherman's website and blog.
Married and established in the wheat center of Cherkast, Berta has recaptured the life she once had in Moscow. So when a smuggling operation goes awry and her husband must flee the country, Berta makes the vain and foolish choice to stay behind with her children and her finery. As Russia plunges into war, Berta eventually loses everything and must find a new way to sustain the lives and safety of her children. Filled with heart-stopping action, richly drawn characters, and a world seeped in war and violence; The Little Russian is poised to capture readers as one of the hand-selling gems of the season.
The Page 69 Test: The Little Russian.
Read--Coffee with a Canine: Susan Sherman & Henry and Bessie.