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  • Ellen discusses Terrible Virtue and Margaret Sanger's life and legacy at the New York Society Library (March 2016)
  • Ellen talks about the relationship between the private and the political and how she came to write fiction for a living.

Lectures

Articles

Reviews

  • Terrible Virtue
  • The Unwitting
  • Next to Love
  • Scottsboro
  • The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank
  • Lucy

Terrible Virtue

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"A compelling portrait of Margaret Sanger, the famous champion of birth control...a complex woman, torn between her family and cause...the author also depicts in compelling detail the hardship imposed on large, desperately poor families by the lack of contraception...and captures the excitement of Sanger's involvement in the political and social movements of the times... Feldman draws on extensive research to tackle with aplomb the difficult task of writing a novel about a woman whose life is well known and whose story remains controversial decades after her death. Those interested in the history of the women's movement and its impact on today's world will find lots to ponder here. An excellent choice for book groups." Library Journal

"A narration in a lively first-person voice that is elegiac as well as triumphant... The choices Sanger made to further her crusade were not without cost, and Feldman deftly illuminates the terrible tolls (both inflicted and self-inflicted) they took upon her heroine... Cameo appearances by the great names of Sanger's time add notes of gossipy interest for the historically aware reader while placing the events of the novel in a broader social context. Feldman's well-researched treatment of the often tragic realities of the life of a formative figure in American social history offers much to contemporary readers living through current culture wars." Kirkus Reviews

"Margaret Sanger, early twentieth-century pioneer in birth control, women's-rights reformer, and founder of Planned Parenthood, comes to life in Feldman's timely historical novel. The story makes it eminently clear that Sanger was a whirlwind of conflicting emotions and hasty decisions, as well as a maddeningly stubborn crusader for reproductive rights, although her tumultuous sex life and inconstant treatment of her husbands and children often undermined her efforts toward social change... Feldman compellingly portrays the difficult choices confronting women living in a man's world...and effectively pulls readers into historical New York. This immersive, moving, and thought-provoking book is worthy of the intense discussions it's sure to spark." Booklist (starred)

"We need this book now more than ever." Elle Magazine

"Terrible Virtue is captivating, powerful, headlong and inventive—just like its subject. A beautifully wrought, compulsively readable novel. Ellen Feldman can do anything." Stacy Schiff, author of The Witches: Salem, 1692

"Margaret Sanger was passionate about birth control, freedom, a surprising number of men and her daughter. Ellen Feldman lets us see all these sides of one of America's most complicated heroines, a woman who knew too well the hard choice between work and family. An irresistible and utterly timely novel." Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy

"How does a minimally educated, working class woman redirect the moral compass of an entire generation? Feldman shows us how in her masterful novel, Terrible Virtue. Passionate, driven, the Margaret Sanger of Feldman's imagination is every bit as complex as the world she was determined to enlighten." Mary Beth Keane, author of Fever: A Novel of Typhoid Mary

"Margaret Sanger blazes to life in this riveting, powerful novel. Read Terrible Virtue once to learn about the woman whose work ultimately shaped Western culture, then read it again for Ellen Feldman's masterful storytelling. Fascinating and unforgettable." Lynn Cullen, author of Twain's End

"A fascinating exploration of Margaret Sanger as a visionary tour de force who left a stream of public victories and private casualties in her wake. Birth control, sex, family, work, individual need, free love, the greater good—it's all here, historically grounded but as relevant today as it was then." Elizabeth Graver, author of The End of the Point

"A quick, compulsive read…fascinating and compelling...timely." Janet Levine, New York Journal of Books

"What impresses about Feldman's novel is the subtle honesty of the portrait it puts on display... by getting imaginatively inside its protagonist, [the novel] reminds one, better than a straightforward biography might, that Sanger was a good deal more complicated than the cardboard cutout to which her reputation is often reduced... Feldman did her homework." Frank Wilson, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Brutally honest and beautifully poignant…puts readers in the middle of history... I can't recommend it enough." Melissa Broder, Bibliotica

"An amazing, eye opening, breathtaking read... incredibly well written…I was so moved…I cannot praise this book enough." Sara, Stranded in Chaos

"This is one engrossing novel... a superb read!" Amy Steele, Entertainment Realm

"One of the most directly relevant pieces of historical fiction I've read in a long time…deftly introduces complexity and nuance…I finished reading this book about five hours ago and I'm still worked up about it." Annie, A Bookish Type

"Powerful... the timing is eerily apt." Lauren Bufferd, BookPage

"The writing is beautiful and evocative... I loved learning about this impressive rebel woman and Ellen Feldman did a wonderful job bringing her [and her world]to life...it covers so much ground—from the slums of New York and New Jersey, to the rich and poor areas of Paris and London, to a workhouse and prison, to a love commune in Europe...excellent." A Literary Vacation

"Thought-provoking and absorbing... held me captive... Feldman presents Margaret Sanger not as a saint or a sinner, but as a complex, flawed visionary... very much worth reading." Books on the Table

"This book is an eye opener. A fascinating woman, an amazing life, and an influence that changed the world." Marlene Harris, Reading Reality

"Utterly captivating...a view into… the Dark Ages of women's health and health care and a complex depiction of Margaret Sanger." Jennifer Donovan, 5 Minutes for Books

"Feldman does a great job of bringing all [Sanger's] contradictions to life...I honestly couldn't put the book down... irresistible... couldn't be more timely." Feminist Texican

"Absolutely loved it and want a sequel." Kritters Ramblings

"Could not have hit the bookstores at a more opportune time...amazing." Sherrey Meyer, Puddletown Reviews

"Compelling and fascinating... Feldman paints Margaret Sanger as the human being she likely was... coming out at a time when it is needed most." Bookish Thoughts

Read this one; it's a story young women today need to know." Time 2 Read

The Unwitting

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Bold and original...moral and political...Feldman gently explores the lure of complicity...questions the little deceptions and omissions that are the necessary glue of a life shared with someone else,...[and] manages to breathe immediacy into [the] decades...the originality of voice and thought [is] evident on every page...part love story, part mystery and part political thriller I would heartily recommend. Ellah Allfrey, All Things Considered, NPR

A compelling story...of mystery, political intrigue, and forgiveness. Much of the fun comes from the literary cameos (think: Mary McCarthy, Richard Wright and Robert Lowell), but it's the novel's haunting portrait of a marriage that make this Cold War novel so resonant for readers of any time period, including our own. Oprah's Book of the Week

A compelling writer... the novel is brilliant on the cruelty of grief... to her credit, Feldman steers clear of attributing modern, liberal views on feminism or race to this credible woman of the Fifties and Sixties...for a writer this bold and dexterous, this is fertile ground...[reminiscent] of early Margaret Drabble...poignant. Katy Guest, The Independent, UK

A Katy Guest choice for the Man Booker list. "Feldman is a strangely overlooked author who never holds back."

Vibrant, sassy, informative, a page-turner, absorbing, and swift... the narrator's voice is snappish, confident, argumentative, literate. I fell for it from the beginning...Feldman produces beautiful turns of phrase...male readers [too] will appreciate the research that went into it [and]... be fascinated by its bold and thorough review of the American 20th century. Kelly Cherry, L.A. Review of Books

"Gripping...a deep and disarming book about politics, human relationships, and love...meticulously researched...skillfully drawn." Library Journal

"A precise intelligent quandary-based novel...The characters are smart, the story's about marriage and other relationships but, more than that, it's about morality and ethics and what people do when their beliefs clash...Feldman integrated real events smoothly, including McCarthyism, the death of JFK, protest and peace marches, even the price of apartments in Manhattan. Words are powerful, and journalistic integrity matters. In this clever novel, good and bad mingle in ambiguous and unexpected ways." Psychology Today

An engrossing book...beautifully described, evoking a very real feeling of Cold War uncertainty and discomfort...the reader is drawn to the narrator, who seems so real and admirable...the story grips to the end and leaves you with much to consider. Rupert Godsal, Country Life (UK)

"Guggenheim Fellow, Ellen Feldman, wows us with her fifth novel... There is a lot going on in The Unwitting. In some ways it is a stylish portrait of love and marriage. In another it reveals an America in the throes of horrible change... Compelling enough to take its place with the best of crime fiction, Feldman's language is loving, bright and sharp while her storytelling abilities are unquestionable. The Unwitting cuts us into an interesting time, then ramps things up... Feldman is clearly a writer who is going places, The Unwitting brings that home: it's a terrific book." Sienna Powers, January Magazine (UK)

"A page turner...Feldman is an easy, confident writer." Toronto Star

"A blend of cool, intelligent writing and breakneck pace...a cracking Cold War thriller, but also the story of a marriage...heaven ...my highest praise." Saga Magazine (UK)

"In CIA parlance, those who knew were ‘witting.' Everyone else was among the ‘unwitting'" ...That sentence makes Feldman's book sound a lot like the current television show "The Blacklist." But Feldman's finesse with both moral and emotional ambiguity makes her book a lot more like Thomas Mallon's Fellow Travelers than anything tube-based." Bethanne Pattrick's 'Top ten books of May, 2014,' The Washingtonian

"Brilliantly written...fascinating...a chilling account of journalists' lives...Feldman's sincere description makes Nell and Charlie's relationship familiar and relatable to the reader, which makes the ensuring events even more heartbreaking...compelling storytelling." Stylist.co.uk

Intriguing... part political thriller, part romance, and all well-written... the reader sees the postwar world from multiple angles. There's also plenty of accurate detail in the portrayal of the female characters, who are struggling against gender and cultural norms...Discovery is everywhere, both political and personal. The reader and Nell both learn some useful, though painful, lessons. Historical Novel Society

The author creates two vivid characters with their own motivations and weaknesses, painting a passionate love story filled with history, longing and resignation...well-crafted and beautifully nuanced, reflecting a particular affinity for the struggles of women...Although the subject matter has been covered before, in both literature and film, Feldman's book has a sense of urgency and mood that separates it from the pack. Michael Leonard, 'Curled Up with a Good Book'

Feldman's phrasing is as masterful as her plot and characterization...It is to Feldman's credit that although her work opens with Nell receiving life-altering news that might occur at the end of a more ordinary work, the novel continues to unfold mysteries and intimate secrets. Readers will keep turning pages to discover that last, ultimate secret. Leslie Rath, 'Curled Up with a Good Book'

"The Cold War serves as a fascinating backdrop for this story about Nell and Charlie's marriage, but their marriage also serves as a compelling example of its time...One of the things I so love about Feldman's novels is her ability to create strong female characters who are not anachronistic...Yet as much as this novel is the story of ....[a] marriage, it's even more the story of Nell and how she became the woman she is...filled with compelling characters navigating difficult events...Feldman once again uses history to enhance the characters as much as she uses the characters to enhance the history. The result is a fully realized portrait of both one marriage and its time and place." Nomadreader (UK)

"I loved this book. Feldman has the ability to completely engross you in the world of the characters at the time in which they live... The writing is poetry. It's eloquent and all embracing... Put simply, I just couldn't get enough... I have read it described as ‘part mystery, part love story and part political thriller'. I agree with those comments...I'm new to Ellen Feldman's work but so glad we've been introduced...Immediately after I'd finished this novel, I placed some of Feldman's other work on my to-read list. I highly recommend it." All Things Literary (UK)

Tautly written...a splendid, page-turning book, exploring the territory of the Cold War as seen through the prism of one marriage...a pacy, fascinating read, heroes have feet of clay, the corrupt have surprising integrity. The reader, like the central character, is forced to interpret and reinterpret a life and events, backwards... full of absolutely believable twists and turns...I recommend it very highly. Lady Fancifull, Literary Fiction (UK)

The Unwitting completely absorbed me. The weaving of the public and the personal is exceptional—the way the questions of truth-telling, and silence, and secrets are allowed their full complexity and also their occasional simplicity, some evils, like political persecution, being pure evil. Emotionally keen, intellectually challenging, it's a book to read—and then read again." Robin Black, author of Life Drawing

"A story of love and intrigue during the Cold War, The Unwitting plumbs not only the secrets of spies, but those of the human heart. Moving, witty, and thoroughly intelligent, it is an absorbing and deeply satisfying read." Kevin Baker, author of The Big Crowd

"Compelling and poignant...Not only is the writing atmospheric and subtle, it has great psychological tension." Nigel Farndale, author of the acclaimed, Costa-shortlisted novel The Blasphemer

"Ellen Feldman's masterful, unforgettable portrayal of a marriage during the Cold War evokes the era in beautiful but charged prose. The paranoia of the times crackles on the page as secrets are kept and Nell Benjamin, the narrator, is unwittingly caught in moral quandaries of the 1950's. A captivating work of storytelling that will keep you up late at night, The Unwitting is a timely, must-read novel that reminds us the past continues to haunt. " Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise and The Personal History of Rachel DuPree

"Through the lens of a passionate, complex marriage Ellen Feldman brings the Cold War back to life. The Unwitting is a wise and irresistible portrait of fascinating people in a tumultuous time." Roger Straus III, Former Managing Director of Farrar, Straus & Giroux

"I read The Unwitting twice. The first time I read it for the story...The second time around I caught things I had missed the first time like subtle phrases describing what was to come, like the narrator was letting you in on a secret... A great novel..." The Sunshine Grove Blog

"Intelligent...poignant...impressive scope" Publisher's Weekly

"Fascinating..." Kirkus Reviews

Next to Love

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"Haunting and profoundly moving...Feldman's characters live and love with breathtaking intensity, and her deft juggling of several zigzagging plots makes the pages flow past with the force of a slow but mighty river." Booklist (Starred)

"A lustrous evocation of a stormy period in our past... Feldman's scathing prose intensifies the daily routines of these families and makes readers fearful and worried along with them." Library Journal (Starred)

"Sincere... piercing ...this affecting tribute to the "greatest" generation is elevated by its empathy for the women left behind [and] the ... searching sensitivity of the prose." Kirkus

"Beautifully rendered." Publishers' Weekly

"Disquieting originality...Feldman's specialty is emotional ambivalence...and discernment of the shades of domestic gray...breath-warm, intimate...true music." Times Literary Supplement

"Compelling." Vogue.com

"Feldman manages to cover wide and weighty problems whilst remaining deeply personal and engaging... In fiction it's often better to go narrow and deep rather than wide and shallow, but Feldman manages to go both wide and deep...Can a novel focusing on the lives of three women span as many decades without being reductive? The answer to that is yes, so long as you're in the hands of a writer as skilled as Feldman." The Scotsman (UK)

"Excellent... moving... Feldman explores grand narratives." The Independent (UK)

"Intelligent, elegant and...moving" The Guardian (UK)

"A heartbreaking triptych of people scrambling to cope with life. Moments of emotional wisdom...immerse us...in a moving tale." The Telegraph (UK)

"Deeply moving." The Bookseller (UK)

"A remarkable novel you are unlikely to forget...Tinged with tragedy, yet filled with hope, Next to Love is the story of three women at the heart of the century- a celebration of their friendship across decades of the most unthinkable adversity." Library.com (UK)

"A fine new novel... a wonderful, engrossing read...Feldman has a sure hand when it comes to depicting the harsh realities of the postwar years without resorting to maudlin sentiment." Edmonton Journal

"Remarkable and haunting." Woman and Home (UK)

"Appealing and swiftly moving...The book leaves its mark through careful attention to detail along with a keen tracking of the emotional current that runs through the lives of the characters during and in the wake of World War II... Sketched out over the course of 20-odd years, the book is a sum of scenes artfully sewn together...As a work of faithfully wrought historical fiction, Next to Love feels accurate. As a novel chronicling love, loss, and the passage of time, it feels real." East Hampton Star

"Devastating...Feldman avoids polemic and keeps the issues personal showing how the upheavals affect the trio as they temper idealism with frustrating, heartbreaking reality." Daily Mail (UK)

"Touching...a highly engaging tale of human endurance mingled with human fragility...and the strength and courage derived from female friendship in the face of tragedy." Image Magazine (UK)

"A celebration of friendship, full of tragedy and hope." ASOS Magazine (UK)

"The very thought of covering several decades in a single novel is a prospect that would challenge most authors. Placing those several decades in the intense period between World War II and the war in Vietnam is even more of a daunting proposition. But Ellen Feldman, who's proved her historical novel chops in several previous works, shows readers that she's more than up to the task in Next to Love, a surprisingly intimate novel about the countless ways in which war changes lives." Bookreporter.com (UK)

"Heartbreaking, yet hopeful." Easy Living Magazine (UK)

"Girl power, vintage style." The Sun (UK)

"Beautifully written." BookScan (UK)

"A deftly revealing...portrait of the changing face of America... heartbreaking reality." Marie Claire

"Feldman deftly juggles stories and breathes life into characters...The period details are handled beautifully... an age where instant communication (cell phones, Internet, etc.) did not exist and when lovers wrote their heart out in letters... Feldman's riveting style keeps the reader in a "what's next?" mode...Ultimately, the book is focused on female friendship—at turns, courageous, poignant, and fragile. The friendships are not idealized, but rather portrayed to be sustaining, enduring, and nurturing. At its core, it is about survival through life, love, children, war, grief, and resurgence, delivered with just the right amount of drama and intensity." Mostly Fiction Book Reviews

"An intimate look at how we can be dismantled and rebuilt by changing times." O Magazine, 10 Titles To Pick Up Now

"A powerful, haunting deeply ambitious novel about love and war, impeccably executed, impossible to put down." Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra: A Life

"A remarkable novel." Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain

"There is the touch of Everywoman here." Susan Vreeland, author of Clara and Mr. Tiffany

Scottsboro

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"A riveting drama...inspired and inspiring.... Ruby is a gem of a character, and belongs with the best of William Faulkner's, or Alice Walker's, women." San Francisco Chronicle

"Emotionally charged...a strong sense of dramatic tension.... Feldman gets her history right and...the fictional characters are rendered in artful service to the novel's larger project...a powerful tribute to the nine [Scottsboro] men.... Thanks to Feldman's scholarly research and her ability to imagine the interior lives of historical figures, more readers may hopefully learn about this significant moment in American history." Atlanta Journal Constitution

"Spellbinding fiction.... Rich imagination, memorable characters and elegant but restrained prose.... On par with Feldman's characterizations is her subtle reflection of reality.... With a sure sense of storytelling, a deft hand at characterization and a stylish and sensitive use of language, Feldman has created another affecting portrait of the past. And in so doing, her tale of racism and poverty, lies and hopelessness, brings an American disgrace to life with eloquence, intelligence and passion." Richmond Times Dispatch

"Feldman re-animates the drama in a novel that is based on archival records, court records, and first-person accounts but that succeeds overwhelmingly as a work of imagination...distilled with great subtlety and wit, into a story worth retelling and remembering." Boston Globe

"A taut, haunting legal thriller... Feldman artfully articulates the uneasy relationship between two women ... The fabric of the time is beautifully woven... a suspenseful pageturner...If you want to know what happened to the Scottsboro boys, read the book." The Telegraph (UK)

"An astute history... Feldman's clear-sighted vision of the Scottsboro case reveals not only violent racism in the South, but also anti-Semitism, sexism and a contempt for poor whites... There were real innocents: African American young men who lost years of their lives, their health and hope. It is for them, and the bitter lessons they taught everyone who touched the case, that Feldman's book has been written and should be read." The Independent (UK)

"A literary masterpiece...one of the most stunning and powerful novels I have read in quite a long time...beautifully written and meticulously researched...you will be held captive." The Decatur Daily

"A keen sense of drama...a raw sense of alienation and collision." Publishers Weekly

"A page-turner.... Feldman has a talent for reimagining history [and] methodically draws the reader deep into the emotional territory of the Jim Crow South." Book List

"Feldman's simple, eloquent phrases and realistic representation of the human condition make her book gripping and demonstrate a masterful control.... Especially gripping is the painted humanity of Ruby Bates." Library Journal

"Clearly Feldman combed through countless eyewitness accounts to get her details straight; in her hands the story and characters come heartbreakingly to life." Jewish Book World

"Compelling and still timely." Jewish Woman Magazine

"A compelling fictional account of one of history's greatest miscarriages of justice." Waterstone's Books Quarterly (UK)

"Absolutely hypnotizing...a fearless examination of the moral ambiguities...a shatteringexamination of all the kinds of ambition intrinsic in any public outcry for any kind of justice." The Anniston Star

"Moving, disturbing and enormously powerful...this brilliant book offers no cozy resolutions or perfect happy endings. But then, neither did the true story on which it's based." The Gloss Magazine (Ireland)

"Ruby is a marvelous fictional creation...this account of a famous court case that exposed the murderous face of racial prejudice is truly gripping." Historical Novels Review (UK)

The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank

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"An appealing and inventive novel...original and cathartic." New York Times

"An ambitious novel about war, identity and the past." Chicago Tribune

"A powerful testament to the permanence of war's imprint on the innocent, and how that experience defines a life forever." Newsday

"An audacious novel...whose sensational theme never tarnishes the passion and delicacy with which Feldman tells her gripping story." American Heritage Magazine

"Seamless weaving of fact and fiction gives The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank tension to spare, making it a story of unexpected suspense...a page-turner." The Forward

"Inventive." The Boston Globe

"Engaging and morally questioning." USA Today

Lucy

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"Lyrical ... a gem." Baltimore Sun

"Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd is a wonderful creation." New York Times Book Review

"Feldman bases her novel on solid historical research.... But it is her imagination, at once creative and restrained, that informs Lucy with so much emotion." Richmond Times Dispatch

"Novels about the personal lives of public figures are tricky indeed, but Ellen Feldman pulls it off in her touching and sensitive re-imagination of the emotional entanglements of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd." Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

"A compelling portrait of Margaret Sanger, the famous champion of birth control...a complex woman, torn between her family and cause...the author also depicts in compelling detail the hardship imposed on large, desperately poor families by the lack of contraception...and captures the excitement of Sanger's involvement in the political and social movements of the times... Feldman draws on extensive research to tackle with aplomb the difficult task of writing a novel about a woman whose life is well known and whose story remains controversial decades after her death. Those interested in the history of the women's movement and its impact on today's world will find lots to ponder here. An excellent choice for book groups." Library Journal

"A narration in a lively first-person voice that is elegiac as well as triumphant... The choices Sanger made to further her crusade were not without cost, and Feldman deftly illuminates the terrible tolls (both inflicted and self-inflicted) they took upon her heroine... Cameo appearances by the great names of Sanger's time add notes of gossipy interest for the historically aware reader while placing the events of the novel in a broader social context. Feldman's well-researched treatment of the often tragic realities of the life of a formative figure in American social history offers much to contemporary readers living through current culture wars." Kirkus Reviews

"Margaret Sanger, early twentieth-century pioneer in birth control, women's-rights reformer, and founder of Planned Parenthood, comes to life in Feldman's timely historical novel. The story makes it eminently clear that Sanger was a whirlwind of conflicting emotions and hasty decisions, as well as a maddeningly stubborn crusader for reproductive rights, although her tumultuous sex life and inconstant treatment of her husbands and children often undermined her efforts toward social change... Feldman compellingly portrays the difficult choices confronting women living in a man's world...and effectively pulls readers into historical New York. This immersive, moving, and thought-provoking book is worthy of the intense discussions it's sure to spark." Booklist (starred)

"We need this book now more than ever." Elle Magazine

"Terrible Virtue is captivating, powerful, headlong and inventive—just like its subject. A beautifully wrought, compulsively readable novel. Ellen Feldman can do anything." Stacy Schiff, author of The Witches: Salem, 1692

"Margaret Sanger was passionate about birth control, freedom, a surprising number of men and her daughter. Ellen Feldman lets us see all these sides of one of America's most complicated heroines, a woman who knew too well the hard choice between work and family. An irresistible and utterly timely novel." Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy

"How does a minimally educated, working class woman redirect the moral compass of an entire generation? Feldman shows us how in her masterful novel, Terrible Virtue. Passionate, driven, the Margaret Sanger of Feldman's imagination is every bit as complex as the world she was determined to enlighten." Mary Beth Keane, author of Fever: A Novel of Typhoid Mary

"Margaret Sanger blazes to life in this riveting, powerful novel. Read Terrible Virtue once to learn about the woman whose work ultimately shaped Western culture, then read it again for Ellen Feldman's masterful storytelling. Fascinating and unforgettable." Lynn Cullen, author of Twain's End

"A fascinating exploration of Margaret Sanger as a visionary tour de force who left a stream of public victories and private casualties in her wake. Birth control, sex, family, work, individual need, free love, the greater good—it's all here, historically grounded but as relevant today as it was then." Elizabeth Graver, author of The End of the Point

"A quick, compulsive read…fascinating and compelling...timely." Janet Levine, New York Journal of Books

"What impresses about Feldman's novel is the subtle honesty of the portrait it puts on display... by getting imaginatively inside its protagonist, [the novel] reminds one, better than a straightforward biography might, that Sanger was a good deal more complicated than the cardboard cutout to which her reputation is often reduced... Feldman did her homework." Frank Wilson, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Brutally honest and beautifully poignant…puts readers in the middle of history... I can't recommend it enough." Melissa Broder, Bibliotica

"An amazing, eye opening, breathtaking read... incredibly well written…I was so moved…I cannot praise this book enough." Sara, Stranded in Chaos

"This is one engrossing novel... a superb read!" Amy Steele, Entertainment Realm

"One of the most directly relevant pieces of historical fiction I've read in a long time…deftly introduces complexity and nuance…I finished reading this book about five hours ago and I'm still worked up about it." Annie, A Bookish Type

"Powerful... the timing is eerily apt." Lauren Bufferd, BookPage

"The writing is beautiful and evocative... I loved learning about this impressive rebel woman and Ellen Feldman did a wonderful job bringing her [and her world]to life...it covers so much ground—from the slums of New York and New Jersey, to the rich and poor areas of Paris and London, to a workhouse and prison, to a love commune in Europe...excellent." A Literary Vacation

"Thought-provoking and absorbing... held me captive... Feldman presents Margaret Sanger not as a saint or a sinner, but as a complex, flawed visionary... very much worth reading." Books on the Table

"This book is an eye opener. A fascinating woman, an amazing life, and an influence that changed the world." Marlene Harris, Reading Reality

"Utterly captivating...a view into… the Dark Ages of women's health and health care and a complex depiction of Margaret Sanger." Jennifer Donovan, 5 Minutes for Books

"Feldman does a great job of bringing all [Sanger's] contradictions to life...I honestly couldn't put the book down... irresistible... couldn't be more timely." Feminist Texican

"Absolutely loved it and want a sequel." Kritters Ramblings

"Could not have hit the bookstores at a more opportune time...amazing." Sherrey Meyer, Puddletown Reviews

"Compelling and fascinating... Feldman paints Margaret Sanger as the human being she likely was... coming out at a time when it is needed most." Bookish Thoughts

Read this one; it's a story young women today need to know." Time 2 Read

Bold and original...moral and political...Feldman gently explores the lure of complicity...questions the little deceptions and omissions that are the necessary glue of a life shared with someone else,...[and] manages to breathe immediacy into [the] decades...the originality of voice and thought [is] evident on every page...part love story, part mystery and part political thriller I would heartily recommend. Ellah Allfrey, All Things Considered, NPR

A compelling story...of mystery, political intrigue, and forgiveness. Much of the fun comes from the literary cameos (think: Mary McCarthy, Richard Wright and Robert Lowell), but it's the novel's haunting portrait of a marriage that make this Cold War novel so resonant for readers of any time period, including our own. Oprah's Book of the Week

A compelling writer... the novel is brilliant on the cruelty of grief... to her credit, Feldman steers clear of attributing modern, liberal views on feminism or race to this credible woman of the Fifties and Sixties...for a writer this bold and dexterous, this is fertile ground...[reminiscent] of early Margaret Drabble...poignant. Katy Guest, The Independent, UK

A Katy Guest choice for the Man Booker list. "Feldman is a strangely overlooked author who never holds back."

Vibrant, sassy, informative, a page-turner, absorbing, and swift... the narrator's voice is snappish, confident, argumentative, literate. I fell for it from the beginning...Feldman produces beautiful turns of phrase...male readers [too] will appreciate the research that went into it [and]... be fascinated by its bold and thorough review of the American 20th century. Kelly Cherry, L.A. Review of Books

"Gripping...a deep and disarming book about politics, human relationships, and love...meticulously researched...skillfully drawn." Library Journal

"A precise intelligent quandary-based novel...The characters are smart, the story's about marriage and other relationships but, more than that, it's about morality and ethics and what people do when their beliefs clash...Feldman integrated real events smoothly, including McCarthyism, the death of JFK, protest and peace marches, even the price of apartments in Manhattan. Words are powerful, and journalistic integrity matters. In this clever novel, good and bad mingle in ambiguous and unexpected ways." Psychology Today

An engrossing book...beautifully described, evoking a very real feeling of Cold War uncertainty and discomfort...the reader is drawn to the narrator, who seems so real and admirable...the story grips to the end and leaves you with much to consider. Rupert Godsal, Country Life (UK)

"Guggenheim Fellow, Ellen Feldman, wows us with her fifth novel... There is a lot going on in The Unwitting. In some ways it is a stylish portrait of love and marriage. In another it reveals an America in the throes of horrible change... Compelling enough to take its place with the best of crime fiction, Feldman's language is loving, bright and sharp while her storytelling abilities are unquestionable. The Unwitting cuts us into an interesting time, then ramps things up... Feldman is clearly a writer who is going places, The Unwitting brings that home: it's a terrific book." Sienna Powers, January Magazine (UK)

"A page turner...Feldman is an easy, confident writer." Toronto Star

"A blend of cool, intelligent writing and breakneck pace...a cracking Cold War thriller, but also the story of a marriage...heaven ...my highest praise." Saga Magazine (UK)

"In CIA parlance, those who knew were ‘witting.' Everyone else was among the ‘unwitting'" ...That sentence makes Feldman's book sound a lot like the current television show "The Blacklist." But Feldman's finesse with both moral and emotional ambiguity makes her book a lot more like Thomas Mallon's Fellow Travelers than anything tube-based." Bethanne Pattrick's 'Top ten books of May, 2014,' The Washingtonian

"Brilliantly written...fascinating...a chilling account of journalists' lives...Feldman's sincere description makes Nell and Charlie's relationship familiar and relatable to the reader, which makes the ensuring events even more heartbreaking...compelling storytelling." Stylist.co.uk

Intriguing... part political thriller, part romance, and all well-written... the reader sees the postwar world from multiple angles. There's also plenty of accurate detail in the portrayal of the female characters, who are struggling against gender and cultural norms...Discovery is everywhere, both political and personal. The reader and Nell both learn some useful, though painful, lessons. Historical Novel Society

The author creates two vivid characters with their own motivations and weaknesses, painting a passionate love story filled with history, longing and resignation...well-crafted and beautifully nuanced, reflecting a particular affinity for the struggles of women...Although the subject matter has been covered before, in both literature and film, Feldman's book has a sense of urgency and mood that separates it from the pack. Michael Leonard, 'Curled Up with a Good Book'

Feldman's phrasing is as masterful as her plot and characterization...It is to Feldman's credit that although her work opens with Nell receiving life-altering news that might occur at the end of a more ordinary work, the novel continues to unfold mysteries and intimate secrets. Readers will keep turning pages to discover that last, ultimate secret. Leslie Rath, 'Curled Up with a Good Book'

"The Cold War serves as a fascinating backdrop for this story about Nell and Charlie's marriage, but their marriage also serves as a compelling example of its time...One of the things I so love about Feldman's novels is her ability to create strong female characters who are not anachronistic...Yet as much as this novel is the story of ....[a] marriage, it's even more the story of Nell and how she became the woman she is...filled with compelling characters navigating difficult events...Feldman once again uses history to enhance the characters as much as she uses the characters to enhance the history. The result is a fully realized portrait of both one marriage and its time and place." Nomadreader (UK)

"I loved this book. Feldman has the ability to completely engross you in the world of the characters at the time in which they live... The writing is poetry. It's eloquent and all embracing... Put simply, I just couldn't get enough... I have read it described as ‘part mystery, part love story and part political thriller'. I agree with those comments...I'm new to Ellen Feldman's work but so glad we've been introduced...Immediately after I'd finished this novel, I placed some of Feldman's other work on my to-read list. I highly recommend it." All Things Literary (UK)

Tautly written...a splendid, page-turning book, exploring the territory of the Cold War as seen through the prism of one marriage...a pacy, fascinating read, heroes have feet of clay, the corrupt have surprising integrity. The reader, like the central character, is forced to interpret and reinterpret a life and events, backwards... full of absolutely believable twists and turns...I recommend it very highly. Lady Fancifull, Literary Fiction (UK)

The Unwitting completely absorbed me. The weaving of the public and the personal is exceptional—the way the questions of truth-telling, and silence, and secrets are allowed their full complexity and also their occasional simplicity, some evils, like political persecution, being pure evil. Emotionally keen, intellectually challenging, it's a book to read—and then read again." Robin Black, author of Life Drawing

"A story of love and intrigue during the Cold War, The Unwitting plumbs not only the secrets of spies, but those of the human heart. Moving, witty, and thoroughly intelligent, it is an absorbing and deeply satisfying read." Kevin Baker, author of The Big Crowd

"Compelling and poignant...Not only is the writing atmospheric and subtle, it has great psychological tension." Nigel Farndale, author of the acclaimed, Costa-shortlisted novel The Blasphemer

"Ellen Feldman's masterful, unforgettable portrayal of a marriage during the Cold War evokes the era in beautiful but charged prose. The paranoia of the times crackles on the page as secrets are kept and Nell Benjamin, the narrator, is unwittingly caught in moral quandaries of the 1950's. A captivating work of storytelling that will keep you up late at night, The Unwitting is a timely, must-read novel that reminds us the past continues to haunt. " Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise and The Personal History of Rachel DuPree

"Through the lens of a passionate, complex marriage Ellen Feldman brings the Cold War back to life. The Unwitting is a wise and irresistible portrait of fascinating people in a tumultuous time." Roger Straus III, Former Managing Director of Farrar, Straus & Giroux

"I read The Unwitting twice. The first time I read it for the story...The second time around I caught things I had missed the first time like subtle phrases describing what was to come, like the narrator was letting you in on a secret... A great novel..." The Sunshine Grove Blog

"Intelligent...poignant...impressive scope" Publisher's Weekly

"Fascinating..." Kirkus Reviews

"Haunting and profoundly moving...Feldman's characters live and love with breathtaking intensity, and her deft juggling of several zigzagging plots makes the pages flow past with the force of a slow but mighty river." Booklist (Starred)

"A lustrous evocation of a stormy period in our past... Feldman's scathing prose intensifies the daily routines of these families and makes readers fearful and worried along with them." Library Journal (Starred)

"Sincere... piercing ...this affecting tribute to the "greatest" generation is elevated by its empathy for the women left behind [and] the ... searching sensitivity of the prose." Kirkus

"Beautifully rendered." Publishers' Weekly

"Disquieting originality...Feldman's specialty is emotional ambivalence...and discernment of the shades of domestic gray...breath-warm, intimate...true music." Times Literary Supplement

"Compelling." Vogue.com

"Feldman manages to cover wide and weighty problems whilst remaining deeply personal and engaging... In fiction it's often better to go narrow and deep rather than wide and shallow, but Feldman manages to go both wide and deep...Can a novel focusing on the lives of three women span as many decades without being reductive? The answer to that is yes, so long as you're in the hands of a writer as skilled as Feldman." The Scotsman (UK)

"Excellent... moving... Feldman explores grand narratives." The Independent (UK)

"Intelligent, elegant and...moving" The Guardian (UK)

"A heartbreaking triptych of people scrambling to cope with life. Moments of emotional wisdom...immerse us...in a moving tale." The Telegraph (UK)

"Deeply moving." The Bookseller (UK)

"A remarkable novel you are unlikely to forget...Tinged with tragedy, yet filled with hope, Next to Love is the story of three women at the heart of the century- a celebration of their friendship across decades of the most unthinkable adversity." Library.com (UK)

"A fine new novel... a wonderful, engrossing read...Feldman has a sure hand when it comes to depicting the harsh realities of the postwar years without resorting to maudlin sentiment." Edmonton Journal

"Remarkable and haunting." Woman and Home (UK)

"Appealing and swiftly moving...The book leaves its mark through careful attention to detail along with a keen tracking of the emotional current that runs through the lives of the characters during and in the wake of World War II... Sketched out over the course of 20-odd years, the book is a sum of scenes artfully sewn together...As a work of faithfully wrought historical fiction, Next to Love feels accurate. As a novel chronicling love, loss, and the passage of time, it feels real." East Hampton Star

"Devastating...Feldman avoids polemic and keeps the issues personal showing how the upheavals affect the trio as they temper idealism with frustrating, heartbreaking reality." Daily Mail (UK)

"Touching...a highly engaging tale of human endurance mingled with human fragility...and the strength and courage derived from female friendship in the face of tragedy." Image Magazine (UK)

"A celebration of friendship, full of tragedy and hope." ASOS Magazine (UK)

"The very thought of covering several decades in a single novel is a prospect that would challenge most authors. Placing those several decades in the intense period between World War II and the war in Vietnam is even more of a daunting proposition. But Ellen Feldman, who's proved her historical novel chops in several previous works, shows readers that she's more than up to the task in Next to Love, a surprisingly intimate novel about the countless ways in which war changes lives." Bookreporter.com (UK)

"Heartbreaking, yet hopeful." Easy Living Magazine (UK)

"Girl power, vintage style." The Sun (UK)

"Beautifully written." BookScan (UK)

"A deftly revealing...portrait of the changing face of America... heartbreaking reality." Marie Claire

"Feldman deftly juggles stories and breathes life into characters...The period details are handled beautifully... an age where instant communication (cell phones, Internet, etc.) did not exist and when lovers wrote their heart out in letters... Feldman's riveting style keeps the reader in a "what's next?" mode...Ultimately, the book is focused on female friendship—at turns, courageous, poignant, and fragile. The friendships are not idealized, but rather portrayed to be sustaining, enduring, and nurturing. At its core, it is about survival through life, love, children, war, grief, and resurgence, delivered with just the right amount of drama and intensity." Mostly Fiction Book Reviews

"An intimate look at how we can be dismantled and rebuilt by changing times." O Magazine, 10 Titles To Pick Up Now

"A powerful, haunting deeply ambitious novel about love and war, impeccably executed, impossible to put down." Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra: A Life

"A remarkable novel." Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain

"There is the touch of Everywoman here." Susan Vreeland, author of Clara and Mr. Tiffany

"A riveting drama...inspired and inspiring.... Ruby is a gem of a character, and belongs with the best of William Faulkner's, or Alice Walker's, women." San Francisco Chronicle

"Emotionally charged...a strong sense of dramatic tension.... Feldman gets her history right and...the fictional characters are rendered in artful service to the novel's larger project...a powerful tribute to the nine [Scottsboro] men.... Thanks to Feldman's scholarly research and her ability to imagine the interior lives of historical figures, more readers may hopefully learn about this significant moment in American history." Atlanta Journal Constitution

"Spellbinding fiction.... Rich imagination, memorable characters and elegant but restrained prose.... On par with Feldman's characterizations is her subtle reflection of reality.... With a sure sense of storytelling, a deft hand at characterization and a stylish and sensitive use of language, Feldman has created another affecting portrait of the past. And in so doing, her tale of racism and poverty, lies and hopelessness, brings an American disgrace to life with eloquence, intelligence and passion." Richmond Times Dispatch

"Feldman re-animates the drama in a novel that is based on archival records, court records, and first-person accounts but that succeeds overwhelmingly as a work of imagination...distilled with great subtlety and wit, into a story worth retelling and remembering." Boston Globe

"A taut, haunting legal thriller... Feldman artfully articulates the uneasy relationship between two women ... The fabric of the time is beautifully woven... a suspenseful pageturner...If you want to know what happened to the Scottsboro boys, read the book." The Telegraph (UK)

"An astute history... Feldman's clear-sighted vision of the Scottsboro case reveals not only violent racism in the South, but also anti-Semitism, sexism and a contempt for poor whites... There were real innocents: African American young men who lost years of their lives, their health and hope. It is for them, and the bitter lessons they taught everyone who touched the case, that Feldman's book has been written and should be read." The Independent (UK)

"A literary masterpiece...one of the most stunning and powerful novels I have read in quite a long time...beautifully written and meticulously researched...you will be held captive." The Decatur Daily

"A keen sense of drama...a raw sense of alienation and collision." Publishers Weekly

"A page-turner.... Feldman has a talent for reimagining history [and] methodically draws the reader deep into the emotional territory of the Jim Crow South." Book List

"Feldman's simple, eloquent phrases and realistic representation of the human condition make her book gripping and demonstrate a masterful control.... Especially gripping is the painted humanity of Ruby Bates." Library Journal

"Clearly Feldman combed through countless eyewitness accounts to get her details straight; in her hands the story and characters come heartbreakingly to life." Jewish Book World

"Compelling and still timely." Jewish Woman Magazine

"A compelling fictional account of one of history's greatest miscarriages of justice." Waterstone's Books Quarterly (UK)

"Absolutely hypnotizing...a fearless examination of the moral ambiguities...a shatteringexamination of all the kinds of ambition intrinsic in any public outcry for any kind of justice." The Anniston Star

"Moving, disturbing and enormously powerful...this brilliant book offers no cozy resolutions or perfect happy endings. But then, neither did the true story on which it's based." The Gloss Magazine (Ireland)

"Ruby is a marvelous fictional creation...this account of a famous court case that exposed the murderous face of racial prejudice is truly gripping." Historical Novels Review (UK)

"An appealing and inventive novel...original and cathartic." New York Times

"An ambitious novel about war, identity and the past." Chicago Tribune

"A powerful testament to the permanence of war's imprint on the innocent, and how that experience defines a life forever." Newsday

"An audacious novel...whose sensational theme never tarnishes the passion and delicacy with which Feldman tells her gripping story." American Heritage Magazine

"Seamless weaving of fact and fiction gives The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank tension to spare, making it a story of unexpected suspense...a page-turner." The Forward

"Inventive." The Boston Globe

"Engaging and morally questioning." USA Today

"Lyrical ... a gem." Baltimore Sun

"Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd is a wonderful creation." New York Times Book Review

"Feldman bases her novel on solid historical research.... But it is her imagination, at once creative and restrained, that informs Lucy with so much emotion." Richmond Times Dispatch

"Novels about the personal lives of public figures are tricky indeed, but Ellen Feldman pulls it off in her touching and sensitive re-imagination of the emotional entanglements of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd." Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.