Sherry V. Ostroff
The original works of
Sherry V. Ostroff
All About Sherry
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 used to have a dog named Dog and a cat named Meow.
THE LUCKY ONE, published in 2016, is based on my mother's memoir. It is about her escape from Eastern Europe in the 1920's.
CALEDONIA, published in 2019, is my first historical novel. It's the story of two women who are separated by 300 years but are bound by mysterious circumstances. 21st century Hanna keeps uncovering evidence linking her to 17th century Anna. Both women experience adventure, romance, and tragedy as the reader witnesses them becoming more and more connected.
MANNAHATTA, published in 2021, is the second and last book of the series, and continues the story of Hanna and Anna.
Excerpt from Sherry V. Ostroff's
Mannahatta, the Sequel
Manhattan - 1712
Lucy sat in the bed of the wagon on a wooden box. She faced the rear of the open cart, so the crowds and scaffold were not in her sight. Once the horse was ordered to stop, clouds of dust and dirt swirled and covered her. The executioner approached the wagon and directed Lucy to get down, but she hesitated and instead, lifted her eyes. I wasn’t sure what she was looking at: the sky, the sun, or the fluttering leaves on the nearby trees. Perhaps all of it. Lucy closed her eyes, spread her arms, and as if she commanded them, a flock of birds took flight, almost as one, from the trees. Their wings flapped uproariously as they soared and circled twice. The crowd followed Lucy’s stare until the birds disappeared toward the horizon. But the executioner had a job to do, and he impatiently reminded her it was time. He offered a hand to help Lucy off the cart. Under normal circumstances, no white man would have done so. Lucy ignored him, lifted her skirt, and climbed down from the wagon on her own. She straightened her back and smoothed her skirt, the same bloodied one she wore when she gave birth.
The executioner walked first. Lucy followed. Their dirge-like cadence slowed while the spectators parted into a gauntlet. Townsfolk reacted differently. Some glared at the helpless woman. Their smug smiles and nods showed satisfaction that justice was being served. Others lowered their eyes, avoiding contact. Maybe they were ashamed of the unfairness of the court or afraid of the fragility of life. I tried to put myself in Lucy’s situation, knowing that in moments she would never again see the sun rise, the moon set, and the stars light up the sky. She would never breathe in the fragrance of springtime or the smell of an afternoon shower. To never laugh or cry or to hold Rose in her arms. But I knew life’s wonders as an unshackled woman. I was free to enjoy them without condition.
Whispers were silenced as Lucy stood at the scaffold, the bridge that would take her from this life to whatever comes after. The executioner brought one ladder closer to the noose and made sure its feet were well planted. Then he positioned the second ladder, clambered up, and checked the noose.
When all was ready, the executioner motioned for Lucy to begin her ascent. As she reached the twelfth rung, the noose was placed over her head and tightened around her neck.
At that moment, Ruth stepped forward. The executioner paused. Lucy looked down. Ruth turned the baby to face her mother and walked to the scaffold. She lifted the baby, tiny hands and feet flailing. “Dat’s your mama, Rose. She’s a good woman. She loves you wid all her heart. And all her soul.” Ruth hesitated while she succumbed to sobs. The crowd said nothing. “Sear the face of your mama into your memory. Remember dis day. De day you lost your beloved mama.” Ruth spoke no more. She turned Rose inward and pressed the baby against her bodice.
A few women sniffled. Others clutched handkerchiefs. Most were not moved. They grumbled to get on with it.
The executioner said something to Lucy, and then leaned away to give her space. She turned her head, found Rose, and took her thirteenth step.
Many in the crowd bowed their heads. Some whispered the Twenty-Third Psalm. I did not. I watched Lucy dangle, while I whispered other words.
For everything there is a season, a time for every experience under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted,
A time to tear down and a time to build up
A time to weep….
The crowd did not move while Lucy’s body was cut down and placed in the coffin in the bed of the wagon. After the lid was nailed shut, a gravedigger got on the wagon and loosened the reins. It took off with a jolt and disappeared down the road.
This exacting, well-written historical novel will delight fans of the genre.
...a solidly compelling story that proves hard to putdown as love evolves and 'home' is redefined.
-Midwest Book Reviews
Superbly crafted storytelling. It's almost impossible not to enjoy it!
Wishing Shelf Book Review
Fascinating read that's hard to put down.
Excerpt from Sherry V. Ostroff's
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.
The woman gave up, pulled out a book from her bag, and began to read.
After a few minutes the train jerked forward. I settled in for the long ride home and tried to make myself comfortable even though there was never enough room for my long legs. Late arrivals scurried from car to car hoping to find a seat, only to be grateful to lean against a wall or a door. Some passengers were immersed in their phones or newspapers. Others stared blankly out the window. But the car filled with chatter as passengers discussed the latest gossip or the events of their day.
As the train lumbered toward its first stop in Secaucus, I clipped back my unruly hair, leaned my head against the cool glass, and gazed at the New York skyline. I would never get used to the missing twin towers. Their absence was like a gaping hole in a mouth full of teeth. No matter how you tried to cover it up, the smile was never the same.
Awards for Caledonia
Chanticleer International Awards - Finalist
Indie Diamond Book Award - First Place Adult Fiction
Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion Award
Reviews For CALEDONIA
Exquisitely Compelling D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
Sherry Ostroff has obviously done a lot of research. You can tell she’s been to Scotland and she can’t help tucking in nuggets of Scottish history, geography, present day and ancient customs and life styles.
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.
Move Over Outlander
Very well researched. A fantastic read. I absolutely loved it and would highly recommend.
SYNOPSIS: 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.
THE LUCKY ONE & CALEDONIA
are available in paperback and e-book formats at
The Lucky One
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.... Midwest Book Review
Author Sherry V. Ostroff has given readers a gift.
A gripping story of a time and place unknown to most people.
Sherry has created a beautiful biographical memoir.
This book is a piece of living history.
This is the second work I’ve read by Sherry V. Ostroff and want an incredible story of overcoming incredibly difficult odds.
The Lucky One, Caledonia, & Mannahatta
Sherry V. Ostroff is available for presentations, readings, and book discussion groups. Contact her at .