In 1995, NPR editor and producer Marcus D. Rosenbaum met his grandmother-fifty years after her death. Rosenbaum and his family were attending to the bittersweet business of cleaning out the family home after his father died when, in an old closet, in a ziplock bag, his niece discovered a gateway to the early part of the century and into the life of Helen Jacobus Apte, a Southern Jewish woman living in post-Victorian era Florida and Georgia. The covers of his grandmother's diary were cracked and the pages were beginning to yellow, but there it was: almost forty years of passion, doubt, love, and life, penned in unflinching candor. Heart of a Wife: The Diary of a Southern Jewish Woman is the collection of Helen Apte's own diary and essays by her grandson, Marcus D. Rosenbaum, who edited the volume. This book reflects Apte's unorthodox, complex, and independent spirit during a very conservative time. Her shockingly frank opinions are offered on sex, marriage, children, religion, and her native South. Crafted in the heartwarming yet heart-wrenching style of Angela's Ashes and A Midwife's Tale, Heart of a Wife allows the reader a unique glimpse at significant events that gripped the world during the first half of the twentieth century: the Great Depression, the World Wars, and the sinking of the Titanic are but a few.
Biographies & Memoirs, Ethnic & National, Jewish,