Beyond the Ghetto Gates

A Novel

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
456 Pages
Reviewed on 04/15/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rylanne Burdette for Readers' Favorite

Trapped behind the gates that hold the Jews in their ghetto in Ancona, Italy, Mirelle, a young Jewish woman, yearns to be free. When the French army takes over Mirelle’s town, the previously trapped Jews begin to have more freedom. The gates eventually stay open, allowing people to come and go as they please. However, tension stirs when Mirelle meets a young French soldier, Christophe, around the same time as she receives a marriage proposal from a Jewish man she has known her entire life. Christophe is everything the Jewish community is against. Who will Mirelle choose, and what will be the consequence of her actions? Beyond the Ghetto Gates by Michelle Cameron is a beautiful and heartbreaking story of love and loss, freedom and pain.

Beyond the Ghetto Gates is one of the best historical fiction novels I have ever read, and I will probably be thinking about it for a long time. I was hooked on this storyline. It was absolutely original, and the plot was so gripping. My heart was shattered by the end of the book when the story didn’t resolve the way I hoped it would, and I had tears pooling in my eyes during the last few pages. Michelle Cameron is a fabulous writer, and that is so evident throughout the book. The characters and plot were deeply developed, and I had such a soft spot for Daniel. He had the sweetest personality and was kind-hearted even though he was an infamous French soldier. I will be recommending this book to anyone who is looking for a new historical novel to read!


This story intertwined an engaging heroine Mirelle and historical events in a seamless manner. The writing was consise and the story progressed in a way that kept me worrying about the families such that I didnt want to stop reading until I knew the outcome.
These were historical events that I was unfamiliar with and found that their presentation as part of the story was fascinating. The author's care for her characters of different economic means and different faith's provided a wider view into the city of Ancona and their citizens.
A most enjoyable read.