AMONG THE BRANDED

LINDA SMOLKIN

Book Cover

GENRE

FAMILY DRAMA WAR MEMOIR

    Core Theme

    THE HORRORS OF HISTORY, AND THE LESSONS THEY CAN STILL TEACH US TODAY.

    TIME PERIOD

    20th Century (multiple decades)

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    SCHINDLER'S LIST, SOPHIE'S CHOICE

    CHARACTER LIST

    • STEPHANIE BRITAIN: 40+. LEAD, THE MOM OF TWO TEENAGERS, WELL MARRIED. WORKS ON ADVERTISING, WELL-ESTABLISHED CAREER. FAMILY DRIVEN.
    • IZZY: 75. MALE LEAD, HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR. DECISIVE, STRONG MORAL CODE, BADASS, CHARMING, CONFIDENT, EMPATHETIC, ENGAGING.

    Logline

    A successful career woman connects with a Holocaust survivor after finding her letter from when she was in an internment camp, who helps her make changes in her own life.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 35-54

    Target Gender: Female leaning

    Setting

    N/A

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Year Published: 2017

    Starting Description

    Stephanie Britain distracts herself from her son’s imminent departure for college by visiting a flea market. While there, she finds a letter written in WWII from an internment camp in German-occupied France, and through this letter, she tracks down Izzy, a 75-year-old Holocaust survivor.

    Ending Description

    Stephanie’s friendship with Izzy helps her accept the changes in her own life, as well as confront racism and bigotry she sees happening at her work. And even after Izzy’s death, Stephanie is determined to help is memory live on.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

    Information not completed

    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

    Meaningful Message

    Plot - Premise

    Internal Journey/Rebirth

    Main Character Details

    Name: Stephanie Britain

    Age: 45

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Gracious, Honorable, Desperate, Empathetic, Engaging, Faithful

    Additional Character Details

    Name: IZZY

    Age: 75

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Decisive, Strong Moral Code, Badass, Charming, Confident, Perseverance, Blunt, Empathetic, Engaging

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Brief

    A middle-aged career woman thinks she has it all figured out, until she decides to search for a
    holocaust survivor that she finds over an original letter from the war. Their newfound, unexpected
    friendship will change both their lives.

    What We Liked

    It's a feel-good drama, if possible. Among the Branded is a sweet, albeit highly emotional story about
    Stephanie, a strong female lead who decides to learn more about the meaning of war and the effect of
    the Holocaust on modern civilization. Her new relationship with Izzy, a survivor who leans on her to
    convey the importance and the impact of his horrific war experiences, is immediately relatable and,
    soon enough, both characters feel like part of the reader/viewer’s family. While the circumstances that
    brought them all together are tragic, the resulting relationships are priceless.
    While excessively linear at times, with plenty of space for more character and story development, the
    book has an intriguing concept and touches on important themes; such as the bonds of family, the
    overlooked horrors of history, and the lessons they can still teach us today. In the hands of remarkable
    filmmakers, it would be an absolute staple.
    Key points: War and History; family relations; the odd friendship between two people who supposedly
    have nothing in common; a bigger, important message; a meaningful, tearful ending.

    Synopsis

    Stephanie, a successful Art Director at an advertising agency, finds old, original love letters from the
    war in a flea market. One of them brings a list of Jewish names. A person on the list shares the same
    date of birth with Stephany’s late father, which catches her attention. This letter is written in German.
    With the help of a multilingual co-worker, she finds out that this is not an ordinary letter - it’s a cry for
    help. The message comes from a concentration camp addressed to some relatives in Boston. In
    desperation, the person asks for sponsorship, to have them relocated to America.
    Stephanie uses her research skills to go over the internet and find out about the man who wrote the
    letter; Isadore Fisher, also known as Izzy - a lovely old man who still works as a French professor at the
    local University. Eventually, she reaches out, and a strong bond begins. She lost her father recently, and
    he is all by himself due to the death of his wife. A friendship starts to develop, and Izzy happily
    becomes part of the family, being well received by all - including getting really close to Steph’s mother.
    Meanwhile, Steph decides to search a little more about his life. At the Holocaust Museum, with the help
    of the clerk, she locates the woman who saved Izzy’s life when he was a child at the Camp in France.
    She’s in the US, as well. Steph convinces Izzy to go see the old woman, who took a young Izzy from his
    mother’s arms while she was embarking to Auschwitz. She worked as a nurse at the camp and had to
    convince Izzy’s mother that giving the kid up was the only option. The nurse hid Izzy from the Germans
    for a couple of years, when he was finally sent to Boston to be raised by relatives.
    After this emotional meeting, both Izzy and Steph learn that these stories need to be shared not to be
    repeated. Izzy starts to attend events at the museum, give interviews, and spend time talking to kids at
    Jack’s - Steph’s son - school. Steph, on the other hand, decides not to take for granted small things in
    her routine - and remain alert to any kind of prejudicial behavior, something that helps her even in her
    professional life. Shortly thereafter, when Izzy dies, he leaves everything to Stephanie and her family,
    grateful for those last realizations.

    About The Author

    Linda Smolkin always wanted to be a writer; ever since she saw her first TV commercial and wondered how to pen ads. She got her degree in journalism and became a copywriter. She's the author of Among the Branded and The Secret We Lost - and currently working on her third novel.