546Between research, interviews, writing and revising I dedicated about two and a half years of my life to creating LETTERS FROM RIFKA. The hardest part was finding Rifka’s “voice”. After I’d spoken extensively with my great aunt and read thousands of pages of information detailing the economic, political, religious, and social conditions of the early part of the twentieth century, I could not make the story come alive. It was lost, somehow, in all the facts I’d been steeping in. Not until I decided to write the book as an epistolary novel…as “letters”…was I able to cut through all the dry data and give youth and vigor to the narrative voice.