Escaping The Whale by Ruth Rotkowitz – Book Review

Escaping The Whale by Ruth Rotkowitz – Book Review


Escaping the Whale – bookdescription

To everyone who knows her, 28-year-old Marcia Gold leads the perfect life. A good job as a high school guidance counselor specializing in helping pregnant teens as well as a handsome, successful boyfriend, she seems to have it all in 1980 Brooklyn, New York.

However, beneath the shiny surface lurks another reality. Frightening and debilitating panic attacks, which she keeps secret, torment her. As a child of Jewish Holocaust survivors, she knows that her family’s traumas have become her own. In addition, the Iranian hostage situation dominating the news compounds her inner terror.

A series of crises force Marcia to a breaking point. Desperate to free herself from her inner prison, she concocts a plan to be reborn as a new person. Unfortunately, her plan creates its own problems. Can she find another path out of her psychic pain, one that will lead her to true normalcy?


Set in the 1980’s, Marcia sees the Iran Hostage crisis unfold on TV….adding to her own tensions and anxieties. Marcia is the daughter of Holocaust survivors and struggles with her mental health as being constantly bombarded with news events at home and overseas. She is such a great character, I really felt for her.

Escaping The Whale is an emotion packed and incredibly moving tale of inherited trauma, life and finding your identity. It’s beautifully written with light touches of humour too. This would be a perfect read for a book club as there are so many parts just calling for discussion. 

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Escaping The Whale. This is my honest and unbiased review.


Ruth Rotkowitz is a second-generation child – the daughter of Holocaust survivors from Austria. This has informed much of her research and writing. She has published fiction, non-fiction, and poetry in a variety of anthologies and literary journals, and was a staff writer and member of the editorial board of the (now-defunct) Woman’s Newspaper of Princeton, winning awards for many of her feature articles. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in English and has taught English on both the college and high school levels. She currently leads book talks in the Phoenix, Arizona area, where she lives with her husband.

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