Rupert Willows, a shark in a top hat, buries his ugly past and schemes his way to wealth and power when he buys the mansion Ravenscraig Hall. Zev Zigman, a devout Jew, mounts a desperate struggle to bring his family out of czarist Russia to plant new roots in Canada. The two families are tied together by a feisty young woman who risks everything when she hides her Jewish roots to to enter the world of “The English” as a well-paid maid at Ravenscraig.
Ravenscraig, by Sandi Krawchenko Altner is the 2012 winner of the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award, and was shortlisted by the Manitoba Historical Society for the Margaret McWilliams Award in popular history.
Ravenscraig is a romantic, historical saga, set in Winnipeg, Canada during the crushing wave of immigration at the turn of the 20th century. The story follows two families: the Willows—wealthy, powerful and anti-foreigner, and the Zigmans—newly arrived Jewish immigrants, struggling to put down roots in Winnipeg’s North End. Pitching rich against poor in a brawling, raucous frontier city in the early 1900s, Ravenscraig is based on true events that shaped the daily lives of the booming population. The award-winning novel brings to life the poverty, typhoid, and prostitution scandals of Winnipeg’s early settlement years, to culminate on the Titanic with the story of Winnipeg’s Fortune family.