Title: A Different Kind of Angel
Inspired by real events chronicled by a
journalist for The World News, Elizabeth Cochrane (pen name, Nellie Bly), in
Klara Gelfman’s life in Kiev was serene until she turned nineteen. That’s when Russia’s Tsar Alexander II was assassinated, and a vicious propaganda campaign spread that blamed the Jews for his death. Klara and her family became victims of the many pogroms breaking out throughout Russia. None were so violent as what hit Kiev in 1881. It was there that Klara’s family was torn asunder and her world changed forever.
This is the story of what happens to this traumatized, orphaned, young Jewish woman when she escapes Russia and crosses an ocean to arrive on the rough streets of New York City able to speak only a few words of English. There, in the land of the free, Klara’s life is thrown into turmoil when she is mistaken for a drunken prostitute. Mistreated by those entrusted to protect her—the police, a judge, doctors, and nurses—she is condemned to an unrelenting hellscape when she is incorrectly and involuntarily committed to a lunatic asylum.
At a time when women had no political, economic or professional rights, comes a story where corruption by the powerful was as overt and commonplace as was garbage on the New York City streets. From the award-winning, international best-selling author of The Seven Year Dress comes an unforgettable story of the devastating effects of persecution, hatred, and arrogance. A Different Kind of Angel is also a story of love, family, friendship, and loyalty. It is a journey into the nature and heart of the resilience of the human spirit that will leave readers thinking about the story long after they finish the book.
Aheartbreaking story about the truly horrible conditions of a woman’s insaneasylum in the late 1800’s. A Different Kind of Angel is a fantastic historicalpiece that highlights the real-life agonies that women endured on Blackwellisland. The story is narrated by a Russian Jew who escaped death in the RussianKiev. When Klara first arrives at the asylum, she does not speak English and issubjected to many torturous nights of fear. When she meets another prisonernamed Catherine, she realizes that kindness does exist. Catherine teaches KlaraEnglish, and the more she begins to understand, the worse she feels until Nellieis admitted in 1887, and her entire world is flipped upside down.
I really felt for Klara and Catherine, who were admitted for no reason other than the fact that other people did not want to deal with them. It really made me think that a lot of women were subjected to unjust tortures and couldn’t do a thing about it.