Sherry V. Ostroff

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The original works of

Sherry V. Ostroff


All About Sherry


The sequel to CALEDONIA

Coming Soon!


In my former life I was a teacher, a runner, a voracious reader, a wife and a mother.  Today I am an author, a walker, a voracious reader, a wife, a mother and a grandmother.  The big news is - writing has become an all-consuming passion.  In my spare time I enjoy cooking, traveling and hanging out with my high school sweetheart and our family. I currently reside  in Lancaster County, PA.  I don't have any pets at the moment, but I use to have a dog named Dog and a cat named Meow.


My first book, THE LUCKY ONE, published in February, 2016, is based on my mother's memoir, was published on February 20, 2016.  Now, I have published my historical novel. CALEDONIA. It's a multi-generational story of two courageous young women who are engulfed by world events of their time: 9-11, New World colonization, and the Spanish Inquisition. Read an excerpt below. The book is available at Click on the link next to the book.

The sequel to Caledonia is coming. It's entitled ON THE EDGE OF A PRECIPICE. It will be out in early 2021.


Available at

Excerpt from Sherry V. Ostroff's 

New Book:


New York, 2005




It was time. All of my dad’s affairs were taken care of except for one last task, a safe deposit box at a large bank in lower Manhattan. I put off emptying the contents because it was the final act of a tragic play with no encores. I feared if I wrapped up this last bit of business, I had accepted his death. 


That’s how I found myself in a dank subterranean vault. I gathered up the contents of the box, balanced them in my hands, and walked out of the small room made available for the customer’s privacy. Wiping away a tear and sniffling quietly into a tissue, I handed back the nondescript key to the gray-haired bank clerk.


She eyed me sympathetically over her half-rimmed glasses attached to a chain around her neck, as I fumbled my possessions. “Miss Duncan,” she said, “maybe this will help.” She held out a plastic grocery bag. I guess she’d seen many come unprepared.


“Thank you,” I mumbled through my tears hoping she heard me. 


I just wanted out of there. I ran up the steps and exited into the blinding sunshine, flipped on my sunglasses, and worked my way up to mid-town and Penn Station. 


My grandparents let me know beforehand what the box contained. There were no surprises, nothing of consequence: three $100 EE United States savings bonds, a copy of a title for a car sold years ago, a Boy Scout badge, a locket with my baby picture and a few strands of hair, and an envelope.


I held the plastic bag close and boarded the train that plied the northeast corridor of the New Jersey Transit. It would take over an hour and sixteen stops to reach the end of the line in Trenton. The train was full of people returning home after a day of working, shopping, or sight-seeing. A short elderly woman, who reminded me of my grandmother, sat next to me.


She smiled and complained at the same time, “My feet.  These shoes are killing me.” She kicked them off and leaned back in her seat. I nodded. I wasn’t in the mood for talking. Not today.


Unfortunately, older people talk to almost anyone. The woman tried once more. “Hi, I’m Rose. Wasn’t today beautiful? If I had comfortable shoes I would’ve done more shopping.”


I didn’t want to be rude, but all I could manage was a weak, “Hanna. Yes, today was nice.”  What I wanted was to be left alone, lost in my thoughts remembering my dad and another perfect summer day that seemed to mock a national tragedy. On that day there hadn’t been a cloud in the sky to block out the sun or diminish the sky’s brilliant blue. For me, it was the coldest and dreariest day of my life. The day my dad was murdered.

"Exquisitely compelling."
"Ostroff pens a magnificent story in Caledonia."
"Caledonia is a wonderful, well-researched historical novel. Besides being highly entertaining, it is educational as well. It teaches the reader about a period in Scottish history that not many people are familiar with. These are the two ingredients that make for great story telling."
"An informative and absorbing story that drew me in from page one and kept me reading until the end"
"I did not want to put this book down."
"Fascinating tale. The author combines history, romance, and suspense in this narrative."

1918 was a terrible time to be Jewish in Russia.  The Revolution was raging and anti-Jewish riots were claiming thousands of lives and destroying property. Escape was difficult and dangerous. One way out was to flee to the United States, but the government was in no mood to extend a hand to refugees desperately seeking safe harbor.  Into this milieu, Ita Pogrebisky,

The Lucky One, was born.


Available at


The Lucky One

What's The



Readers who enjoy memoirs, and especially those who look for sagas of struggle to survive and flourish against enormous odds, will appreciate Sherry V. Ostroff's attention to bringing her mother's words to life, and Ita's vivid descriptions of that world. Given America's newfound attention to immigration issues, one could not hope for a timelier read than The Lucky One.

D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review


This is not normally 'my kind of book', but honestly it was so interesting that it kept me up past midnight two nights in a row. I couldn't put it down and at the end, I was wishing there was more.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a look into the past as lived by a truly remarkable woman.

Colleen Weikel, Writer


If you ever thought you should get your parents to tell you about their lives, or if you wish you had done so and it is now too late, you will appreciate Sherry Ostroff's mother's story of her childhood in early 20th century Ukraine and her eventual escape to America.
Do not be deceived by Ms. Ostroff's introduction. She paints a picture of a Donna Reed type mother telling tales around a kitchen table to the smells of home cooking. But as her mother relates the perils of her early life, you realize this is no ordinary parent.
The author periodically steps in to expand on the living conditions and historical details that weren't available to her mother. Details that help us understand how close to disaster she came. You will learn things not covered in high school history. Governments, including the U.S., and many of our heroes, do not come off well in this tale. The roots of ethnic hatred that led to the Holocaust take on personal meaning. Ms. Ostroff's mother's difficulties in getting to America have some similarities to the problems of present day refugees who are trying to escape oppression.


John Matthews, Writer

I was enchanted by this book the minute I started the author's introduction. The unique mix of memoir and additive commentary provides a fascinating glimpse into the life and times of the author's mother and grandmother, and perhaps mirrors the challenges and triumphs known by many immigrants to the US in the days between WW I and WW II.

Jeffery Craig, Author of Done Rubbed Out and Hard Job

 Sherry has created a beautiful biographical memoir.  Not only was her mother "The Lucky One..." We are lucky that Sherry has chosen to weave and share this story with us.

Kyra Robinov, Author of Red Winter

I just finished reading your book The Lucky One! WoW!
Judy Levin

It makes for a worthwhile, and educational “trip” through the American immigrant experience. Consequently, the book is an excellent read for anyone interested in learning more about the difficulties encountered by Eastern European Jewish immigrants in their coming to America, and their attempts to adjust to the way of life of their new homeland.

Bruce Klugman

I just finished reading this very enjoyable book.  highly recommend this book for insight into what your ancestors may of experienced in their lives and struggles before arriving in America.

R. Howe


Wow! What a great read. As Sherry writes her mother's stories, you can almost hear her mother's Eastern European accent. The book is filled with historical background and insights. This is a touching and revealing story I would recommend to anyone interested in the history and culture of Jewish people.

James Dixon, Author of Things I'll Never Forget


The Lucky One & Caledonia

Sherry V. Ostroff is available for presentations, readings, and book discussion groups.  Contact her at


Upcoming Events:


October 20, 2020 - Adath-Emanu-el, Mount Laurel, NJ - The Lucky One

March 1, 2021 - Keneseth Israel Adult Education - Caledonia

April 17, 2021 - Fox Chase Cancer Center Fashion Show - Book Signing

November 14, 2021 - Keneseth Israel Holiday Bazaar, Elkins Park, PA - Book Signing


Thank you for bringing The Lucky One  and Caledonia into your lives

Manheim Township Public Library                                                   Barnes & Noble - Lancaster, Valley Forge
Henrietta Heisler Interiors                                                                 Keneseth Israel - Elkins Park, PA
Traditions of America -  Lititz                                                            Degel Israel - Lancaster, PA
Traditions of America - Mt. Joy                                                         Temple Beth El - Lancaster, PA
Great Foundations Book Club                                                            Lancaster Newcomers & Neighbors          
Homestead Village                                                                              Traditions of America - Silver Springs
York Jewish Community Center                                                        Traditions of America Book Club - Lititz
Congregation of Sharaii Shomayim                                                  Mount Joy Public Library
Penn State University - Center of Holocaust                                   Pathways Institute - Lancaster & Mechanicsburg
          Studies - Harrisburg Campus                                                  Messiah Village Book Group - Mechanicsburg
Carlisle Public Library                                                                        Adath Emanu-el Sisterhood - Mt. Laurel, NJ
Downingtown Book Group                                                                
United Methodist Women's Group, Lancaster, PA                        
Temple Beth Sholom - Mechanicsburg                                          
The Dauphin County Library System
Oheb Shalom - Wyomissing
Harrisburg Jewish Community Center
Carlisle Library Book Group
St. Matthews Lutheran Church - Lancaster, PA
Mid-Town Scholar Book Store, Harrisburg, PA
Arts Council of Lower Paxton County
Blue Ridge Cable Channel 11
Lititz Women's Club -  Lititz, PA
Congregation Keneseth Israel - Elkins Park
Woodcrest Villa - Lancaster, PA
Kleinlife - Elkins Park, PA
Highland Presbyterian Church, Lancaster, PA
Lancaster Downtowners,
Iris Club - Lancaster, PA
Brethren Village Book Club - Lancaster, PA
Great Books Book Club - Lancaster, PA


Contact the author at -

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