Susan Lee Kerr

The Extraordinary Dr Epstein

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Ephraim Epstein is an astonishing 19th century immigrant so bound to truth that he constantly reinvents himself, even at the cost of what he holds most dear. Starting on the fateful day he is told he must marry his cousin, this novel tells the true life of a brilliant, incorrigible man of conviction. Doctor, farmhand, missionary, sailor, scholar, journalist, university founder, Jew and Christian, Russian and American, he spoke seven languages, had two wives, fathered ten children, one of whom died in a terrible tragedy… Ephraim’s uncompromising character drives him from Czarist Belarus to antebellum America, and then back across the Atlantic to the wild West, an epic sweep across continents and history from 1850 into the 20th century. Author Susan Lee Kerr is the great granddaughter of Ephraim Epstein, and uses fact and imagination to tell a true and riveting tale of twists, turns and utter grit. ‘Susan Lee Kerr's debut historical novel is more than just a portrait of her extraordinary great grandfather — it's a story about Europe and America, Christians and Jews, science and superstition, and the impact of immigration, dislocation and modernity on three generations of a gifted but turbulent family. Ephraim Epstein's journey is geographic, spiritual and psychological, and it takes him — and us — from the 19th century to the 20th in this compelling, surprising and carefully researched narrative.’-- Glenn Frankel, Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and author of The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend. ‘We journey around the world with The Extraordinary Dr Epstein and witness his fascinating forays into farming, religion, medicine, and academia. Who would have thought that a fictionalized account of a proselytizing physician would keep me coming back for more?’-- Ronna Mandel, Good Reads with Ronna
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