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Celtic Curse and Chinese Blessing, Seen through Eyes of Emerald - Based On a True Story

Updated on June 29, 2014

Eyes of Emerald

By Harvey Stelman and Andy Nathan

Illustrated by Paula Nathan

This is a gorgeous story for reading on St. Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s as well, Chinese New Year’s and your birthday. The account relates the events of holidays and mourning days of the soul, because a real life contains both.

Produced as a Lifetime Network movie, it could show every day to a large audience. I hope it becomes a full-length feature playing yearly with the popularity of Cleveland’s A Christmas Story or Vanuatu's South Pacific. Whatever its future, Eyes of Emerald brings together realities as its differing cultures connect with joys and sadness during The Great Depression. This is not a fairy tale romance, but neither are most of our lives. The book is, however, a great love story and a thought provoker.

The press on the book is that its story is powerful and romantic - and it is certainly all that, but it packs the punch of a piledriver when it hits you with real life. You will not soon forget it, because it is based in the truth of oral traditions decorated with retelling through generations of Jewish American people. This book presents its story in the first written edition of its near-century of life.

New York City Tenements 1900 - WWII
New York City Tenements 1900 - WWII | Source

Available in Softbound and Kindle

Eyes Of Emerald
Eyes Of Emerald

Esther Rothstein graduated from high school in 1933, the first in her immigrant family to do so.



Somewhere there are happy people; somewhere, lonely wanderers. Somewhere people are punishing themselves for sins that did not occur or were long ago forgiven. It’s true and we cannot fix all that, no more than we can take all the flooding on North America and Japan in 2011 and put it back on top of the polar ice cap. However, the novel is a story of life in its necessary opposites. Yin and Yang to Asia, but also the lifelong sequence of mountain top experiences and low-cut valleys that the more experienced among us know will cycle forever.

Whose eyes are emerald?

Looking at the book cover, many people say it is the Irish Eyes -- They are, in fact, Hebrew. They meet some Irish eyes in New York City, though, and want to dash away from their olive-tinted, superstitious glare. They meet kind eyes and selfish eyes, controlling eyes and giving eyes, ambition eyes and empty eyes. However, they also meet Chinese eyes and fall in love - the black eyes fell first.

Rockefeller Center on December 5, 1933.
Rockefeller Center on December 5, 1933. | Source


Esther Rothstein graduated from high school in 1933, the first in her immigrant family to do so. This was a landmark occasion and a time of great joy, with a sense of adventure and freedom for Esther. She would soon be looking for employment and beginning to make her own, new way in New York City.

Her entire extended family had striven hard to come to America and make a living - to raise their families and give their children the golden future that the US offered. Esther's dad worked particularly hard and was dismayed when an uncle (Bernard Ross, having changed hid name in America) proceeded to bestow too many expensive gifts on his children. Dad wished to be able to give more, at the same time not wanting the children to think things came easy in America. Work is important, after alls

And work, Esther did - very well. Even among the office politics deeply embedded in American life already in The Great Depression, Esther shone like a shining star burning through rock.

I know hard work was appreciated in the early 1930s, everyone hoping to maintain their jobs. I had an aunt that went to work for a Jewish accountant in the 1930s. She worked so hard and efficiently in the first week, that she had earned a raise from him by Friday. She married this gentleman, Boris (Benjamin) from the Ukraine, and together they had a long happy life and a family. Such was not the fate of Esther, although she was such a hardworking woman, too. After several disappointments, she did finally find love. Temporarily, at least.

Chiang Kai-shek in 1933

Photo taken in 1933. Chiang Kai-shek in a military parade honoring him for suppressing the People's Revolutionary Government of the Republic of China in Fujian. History discussed in Eyes of Emerald.
Photo taken in 1933. Chiang Kai-shek in a military parade honoring him for suppressing the People's Revolutionary Government of the Republic of China in Fujian. History discussed in Eyes of Emerald. | Source

The Haunting Past

Esther caught the eye of a Chinese businessman from a wealthy family and the two formed a relationship during their lunchtime meals on her breaks in his NYC restaurant - the House of Chang - despite cultural and faith differences. The entertaining interactions of the two families and their members in New York City and in 1930s China, the historical accounts of war and Communism in the Far East, and the colorful characters surrounding Esther at home in NYC, are quite memorable. Unforgettable is the Irish curse tossed with a bird's bone from pigeons fed in the park and how birds and food entertwine in the climax of the tale.

The storyline spans approximately 1933 - 1939 with various sorrows, delights, melancholy, and happiness; then jumps to some point in the second half of the century and a mysterious occurrence. You will not want to miss the intervening story or its ending.


The Future

This novel might be the basis for a screenplay in the future and I am satisfied that the story would play well. At the same time, it needs some editing, although the first 118 pages still make a great read in an exceptional story. The last 75 - 80 are a bit of a chore, but still a good story.

A total of 15% of the book's proceeds are donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, an organization Harvey Stelman supports through experiencing his own bout with the condition. He keeps going and plans to use income from the softbound and Kindle editions of Eyes of Emerald for editing the novel as a Trade Paperback in wide distribution. I hope you might want to join these efforts.

From the Book: Fujian Province

Seminary in Fujian Province, China
Seminary in Fujian Province, China | Source

Links for Eyes of Emerald

Eyes of Emerald enjoys having a link on Facebook:

The amount of 15% of book proceeds is donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week is March 14 - 20, 2011.

Hope for those suffering from MS:

Just from January 1 to mid-March 2011, over 5,550 research studies into MS and its treatments were released and published. Below are promising findings in 2011 and late 2010.

I find this article fascinating and of good hope. At the Thanksgiving holiday season in 2010, investigators reported that an environmental pollutant may be a big contributor to the cause of multiple sclerosis. They also discovered that a medication designed to ease hypertension shows potential in successfully treating MS.

All of this hard won research emanated from the work of the professionals in the hot 21st Century disciplines of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering. It was conducted at Purdue University in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences in the School of Veterinary Medicine and in the Center for Paralysis Research, as well as the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering.

Interestingly, the pollutant is found in tobacco and automobile exhausts and can likely be absorbed into the body (my thought), as well as breathed into it. In addition, the pollutant seems to be able to be formed inside animal and human body cells when nerves are damaged, even without the presence of tobacco and auto exhaust.

When we consider that the presence of smog and/or auto exhaust can increase a smoker's risk to incur cancer by 8000%, we can see how important this substance called Acrolein is in denigrating our health.

Other sufferers of MS as advocates for research:


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    • Harvey Stelman profile image

      Harvey Stelman 6 years ago from Illinois

      Koffee, From your mouth to G-D's ears. H

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Patty, wonderful review. I can't wait to read the book and hope someday to see the movie version.

    • profile image

      Harvey Stelman 6 years ago

      To all, Thank all of you that have taken an interest in my book. I especially thank Patty. H

    • ladyjane1 profile image

      ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

      Wow this sounds like the kind of book that I would love to read. I will have to check out the hubber. I appreciate you sharing with us. Great job. Cheers.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      A great read and I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

      Thanks for sharing

      Take care


    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Darski - It is a true story of a Esther and the young man Sammy, who owns a restaurant. It reminds me of CHinese Opera, Japanese Noh Theater, and Korean legends, but I could find the story nowhere else.

      The story is about 6 years long and reminds me of Terri and Steve Irwin - from the day they met and fell immediately in love, that had just 15 years together - less really; 14 years and 11 months and he was gone.

      Thanks to everyone else taking the time to read and make comments and Paul Deeds - I like your review as well and hope everyone goes over there to read more.

      eovery - You may be right - info comes in dreams and we can use it to help.

    • eovery profile image

      eovery 6 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      I would have loved to have learned more about the war in china. I am going to have to do some research on all that went on in that era.

      I enjoyed the story line. I as a christian, would place the curse, not as a curse, but a revelation from God as a warning, that if they would have heeded, and not had the chicken, they would have been fine, but yet it makes a good storyline.

      Keep on hubbing!

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 6 years ago

      A lovely, informative, touching and inspiring Hub Patty! Thank you for sharing! Thank you for introducing us to another gifted talent right here on HubPages! May abundance follow all good works! Blessings always, EarthAngel!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you Patty for drawing my attention to this fantastic book.

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      Wonderful review... I look forward to reading the book! Congratulations Harvey! Keep up the good work!

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 6 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Nice review!

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Congratulations Harvey. This is a wonderful review. Lynda

    • Harvey Stelman profile image

      Harvey Stelman 6 years ago from Illinois

      Patty, To say I love you doesn't do justice to how I feel, after reading your review. Thank you so much! Don't worry, I won't cry. H

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      I not sure, but in my minds eyes, which are by the way emerald, I think I saw this movie, I remember all the closes hanging, large sheets all white, I remember a tragic love story. I saw this long long time ago, not sure if it is the same, a young girl was married off to this older man and she was a slave to his business and they hired a young man to work for them Um let me know. I will buy this book, if it comes from you, then I know it will be great. You have a big fan here my friend, rate up peace and love darski