Beyond the Ghetto Gates is a historical novel set during the turbulent days of Napoleon Bonaparte’s Italian campaign (1796-97). When French troops occupy the Italian port city of Ancona, freeing the city’s Jews from their repressive ghetto, two very different cultures collide.
“A gripping peek into a bygone Italy and an astute look at the era’s prejudice.” — Kirkus Review
“Beyond the Ghetto Gates is a timeless coming-of-age story.” — 4 star Foreword Clarion Review”
“Beyond the Ghetto Gates…is a beautiful and heartbreaking story of love and loss, freedom and pain.” — 5 star review Readers’ Favorite.
“Exploring the pull of assimilation, preserving religious tradition, and women’s empowerment, Cameron offers an evocative exploration of individuality, tradition, prejudices, and a rapidly-changing world — both in the past and present.” – The Jewish Journal, as part of its roundup of “25 Inspiring Books Worth Adding to Your COVID-19 Summer Reading List.”
“In her new historical novel Beyond the Ghetto Gates, author Michelle Cameron fashions a story that is both timeless and deeply rooted in the social, political, and religious mores of its time.” – Jewish Book Council
“Cameron has made excellent use of the genre of historical fiction – effortlessly teaching about a little-known chapter of 18th-century history, while confronting the issues of her 21st-century readers. ” – Jerusalem Post
Read more about the novel. | See Advance Praise for Beyond the Ghetto Gates. | See the Beyond the Ghetto Gates book tour. | To book an Author Visit and for Press Inquiries, visit the Contact Page. | Between the Ghetto Gates Book Club Guide
News About Beyond the Ghetto Gates
Beyond the Ghetto Gates takes Silver in the Independent Publisher Book Awards‘ Historical Fiction Category!
- Beyond the Ghetto Gates is featured on Bookshop.org’s Unforgettable Jewish Historical Fiction!
- Looking for great authors to come to your virtual book club? Beyond the Ghetto Gates is part of the new Bookshop.org program, Authors in Pajamas! (Look for the book in the New in paperback or coming soon listing as well as the Italia! listing.)
- Did you miss Hannah Mary McKinnon reading the first chapter? Listen now via Facebook Live or on Youtube.
- Beyond the Ghetto Gates is included this Jewish Journal roundup of “25 Inspiring Books Worth Adding to Your COVID-19 Summer Reading List.”
Beyond the Ghetto Gates is featured in Writer’s Digest in an article written by Michelle: “Why I Write Jewish Historical Fiction.”
Read What the Bloggers/Reviewers Say:
- “Beyond the Ghetto Gates is a solidly told story combining intercultural conflict, religious violence, and a thread of unpredictable romance” – Sarah Johnson, Reading the Past.
- “This is historical fiction that is memorable and life-changing!” – Crystal Book Reviews.
- “Beyond the Ghetto Gates is an amazing story of courage, hope and doing what’s right. ” – 100 Pages A Day…. Stephanie’s Book Reviews.
- “This book was a goldmine of richness. ” – The Lit Bitch.
- “Cameron’s novel dwells on religious fervor, fanaticism, prejudice and that elusive disparity between religions.” – Historical Novel Society
- “Rich in historic detail and well-drawn characters, this compelling novel breathes life into the conflicts of the times: women’s place in society, religious intolerance, and the expectations of one’s community. ” – Sharon Gloger Friedman
Read (Hear, Watch) My Latest
- Clea Simon’s “Five Questions with Michelle Cameron.”
- Moment Magazine‘s B’shert (Soulmate) column, talking about how my husband and I were “Bonded by the Bard.”
- Featured reader in Murphy Writing at Stockton University’s Virtual Reading on March 27 – Watch it here.
- Reading from Kitty O’Meara’s poem, “And the People Stayed Home” with other authors who are publishing books during this difficult period. For The Jewish Journal.
- “Why I Write,” part of Christi Craig’s Sunday Series.
- “Talking Location with author Michelle Cameron – ANCONA” in TripFiction.
- Podcast as part of The Book of Life’s Books in the Time of Coronavirus series.
- Interview on Lilith’s blog, “Beyond the Ghetto Gates: The Liberation of Jews in Italy.”
- The Chester Library hosted me in their Behind the Book Series via Zoom on April 28 at 2:30pm. See the recording of the visit on Youtube.
- My article, “Beyond The Ghetto Gates” Includes #MeToo Themes” appeared in Girl Talk HQ.
- “Writing Women Back into Jewish History: Interview with Michelle Cameron by Mary Sharratt” in Feminism and Religion.
- Radio appearance on “Dropping In with Diane Dewey.” Listen to the podcast here.
- My interview in the Chatham Courier appears, some four months post interview. A lot has happened in the interim!
- My interview with Loretta Goldberg, in anticipation of the June 30 Published Authors event at the NY Chapter of the Historical Novelists Society.
- An interview on Dead Darlings, which is holding a Virtual Book Tour for authors whose tours were cancelled due to the pandemic.
- An interview in Womanscape, which touches on my writing life as well as the themes of the the novel.
- An interview in fellow historical novelist Susanne Dunlap’s blog.
- Radio appearance on “Writers Voices.” Listen to the recording here.
- Wide-reaching conversation with Susanne Dunlap on her podcast, “It’s Just Historical.” Listen on Apple Podcasts, Susanne’s website, or on Overcast
- An interview with Heidi Slowinski on her blog.
- An article in Writer’s Digest: “Why I Write Jewish Historical Fiction.”
- A blog post on A Writer of History, M.K. Todd’s blog, “Coronavirus and Living in a Historical Novel.”
A Few Kind Words About My Previous Books
A book as rich as the cover illustration, The Fruit of Her Hands is based on the life of Cameron’s 13th century ancestor, Meir Ben Baruch, a renowned Jewish scholar of medieval Europe. The Fruit of Her Hands is a dramatic fictional tale centered on the character of Meir Ben Baruch’s wife, Shira. The book paints a picture of the dawning of the renaissance; a society faced with prejudices and one woman’s fight for justice and equality. – Jewish Scene Magazine
The Fruit of Her Hands is equally rich as history and fiction. Most readers probably know that anti-Semitism was prevalent in Medieval Europe, but in Cameron’s skilled hands, the reader experiences with pounding heart how horrifying, brutal, and pervasive it was. . . . a book so rich with wonderful characters, vivid settings, and an absolutely lush and wonderful depiction of the strengths of the medieval Jewish home and community. This is a first-rate choice for Jewish book clubs. – The San Diego Jewish World
In The Shadow of the Globe is an astonishing surprise. Michelle Cameron has conjured a world and spun a poetic tale that not only honors and exalts Shakespeare and his universe but brings it to vivid, visceral, and heartbreaking life. It is a unique and breathtaking work of art inspired by the man and the theatre that defined humanity in its totality. — Bonnie J. Monte, Artistic Director, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
I love your epic poem. It’s fun, insightful, imaginative. One might nitpick your chronology, but who cares? I am half-way through it, enjoying it immensely, but my heart leaped at Cuthbert’s advice to Peter Street on how to build a playhouse. How right, how accurate: a machine in which to act, not a celebration of the art of scenic design, not built in accordance with the physics of the motion picture projector, no ceremonial hall for wine-and-cheese shmoozing, no architectural monument to someone’s wealth. A machine in which to act, where the alchemy of the Playwright’s words in the actors’ bodies can be realized by the sense of the audience to create the delicate magic of theatre. God bless you, dear lady, you and Cuthbert nailed it. – Paul Barry, Founder of the NJ Shakespeare Festival and director of all 38 of Shakespeare’s plays