Jan Surasky

Jan Surasky has worked as a book reviewer, movie reviewer, and entertainment writer for a San Francisco daily newspaper. Her many articles and short stories have been published in national, regional and local magazines and newspapers. She has also taught writing at a literary center and a number of area colleges near her home in upstate New York, where her next novel is set. Her first novel, RAGE AGAINST THE DYING LIGHT, won the Eric Hoffer Book Award for commercial fiction. Her novel BACK TO JERUSALEM is the Eric Hoffer Book Award winner for commercial fiction and Grand Prize finalist and the Pacific Book Awards winner for New Fiction.

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"Forbidden love and long-held secrets abound in Surasky's (RAGE AGAINST THE DYING LIGHT, 2012) compelling coming-of-age novel."

Kirkus Reviews


Eric Hoffer Book Award winner for commercial fiction and Grand Prize finalist, 2014: BACK TO JERUSALEM

Pacific Book Awards winner for new fiction, 2014: BACK TO JERUSALEM


Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-0578087269
Page count: 331pp

Forbidden love and long-held secrets abound in Surasky’s (Rage Against the Dying Light, 2012) compelling coming-of-age novel.

For Jenny Thompson, the 1970s are merely the years in which she’s grown up; the freedom the time period offered women has not reached her rural home of Jerusalem, N.Y. Jenny has been brought up on a strict diet of values: marry young, marry well and stay away from outsiders. But she strikes up a friendship with the struggling Mennonite boy next door, Jake Martin, who wants to put himself through law school so as to follow his idealistic passions. But all Jenny’s mother can see is his shabby upbringing and how little he can provide for Jenny, so the friendship remains hidden, blossoming eventually into love on Jake’s part. But Jenny doesn’t return his feelings and opts instead to follow her mother’s insistence; she dates Bud, the golden boy of the town whose family’s wealth and influence are known and admired. Jenny soon learns, though, that following a script doesn’t always lead to happiness, and her traditional marriage suits her mother far more than it does Jenny. The marriage breaks down, and Jenny is now a single mother, living on her own in New York, where she learns about talents that she hadn’t pursued and becomes a successful businesswoman and artist. But loneliness beckons, and Jenny turns to dating, despairing that no man connects with her or makes her feel the way Jake did. Eventually, Jake resurfaces in New York, and Jenny learns the beauty that comes with a second chance. Artfully portrayed with vivid descriptions, Jenny’s growth makes her an intensely likable, realistic character. Her rebellion against her mother’s prejudice adds an additional layer to this romantic novel that helps deepen and enrich the complexity of the central relationship. Jenny’s story not only echoes the archetypal tales of forbidden love, but it also illustrates the dangers of intolerance.

A quiet but moving story of one woman’s reclaiming her life. 


Historical Fiction

The tale of 1st century Briton Celtic Queen Boudicca, the first woman warrior known to history, who leads thousands of men into battle against the invading Roman army to avenge their assault upon her two young daughters and rid her beloved island of Roman tyranny. Celebrated through the ages in poetry and art and still today as a symbol of human freedom Boudicca leaps off the pages of RAGE AGAINST THE DYING LIGHT surrounded by lush and beautiful images of the English countryside and the Celtic way of life.

ISBN: 9780578051116