In Sickness and In Health / Yom Kippur in a Gym
(Two novellas)

In Sickness and In Health – Lily had epilepsy as a child, so her most cherished goal has always been to be “normal”. By age 45 she has a “normal” life, including a family, friends, and an artistic career, and no one, not even her husband, knows the truth about her past. But now some cartoons she drew threaten to reveal her childhood secret and destroy her marriage and everything she has worked so hard for. A moving novella about shame, secrets, disabilities, and the limits and power of love.

Yom Kippur in a Gym – Five strangers at a Yom Kippur service in a gym are struggling with personal crises. Lucy can’t accept her husband’s Parkinson’s diagnosis. Ira, rejected by his lover, is planning suicide. Rachel worries about losing her job. Ezra is tormented by a mistake that ruined his career. Tom contemplates severing contact with his sisters. Then a medical emergency unexpectedly throws these five strangers together, and in one hour all their lives are changed in ways they would never have believed possible.



September 12, evening – Argo Bookstore, Montreal, with Danila Botha, Mireille Silcoff, and Sivan Slapak
September 27, 1:30-2:30 – Reading and Book Talk, Barbara Frum Library, Toronto

PRAISE for In Sickness and In Health / Yom Kippur in a Gym:

What is so wonderful and compelling about both these novellas is the deep compassion and understanding that Gold has for her characters. With insight and a keen sense of the conflicted, complex, vulnerable, hopeful and yes, beautiful condition of being fully human, both works do the necessary and inspiring work of making vivid what it is to be immersed in self, in consciousness, in relationships, in life itself.
– Gary Barwin, award-winning author of Yiddish for Pirates and Nothing the Same Everything Haunted

With an astute eye, Nora Gold writes with depth and emotion. Her novellas, Yom Kippur in a Gym and In Sickness and In Health, delve the inner workings of the human heart. Her writing reminds us that we’re all fallible beings, and her characters are living, breathing entities that reach out and touch our souls.
– Faye Kellerman, author of the best-selling Decker/Lazarus mystery series; her latest book is The Hunt

In this excellent book, the writing always thrusts, compelling readers to see themselves in the characters’ frailties of body and soul and to ask themselves the questions of conscience and mortality that these novellas pose with great eloquence.
– Nomi Eve, author of The Family Orchard and Henna House; Directs the Drexel MFA in Creative Writing

Yom Kippur in a Gym works wonderfully and readers will certainly be enchanted by all the storylines and characters… We find ourselves rooting for…these warm and complex people…depicted as flawed but fascinating… Yom Kippur in a Gym is a wonderful read, a beacon of light in dark times.
– Jerry Levy, Ottawa Review of Books

Nora Gold’s In Sickness and in Health /Yom Kippur in a Gym is exhilarating, hopeful, and deeply humane. I loved Yom Kippur in a Gym – its ingenious structure held my attention, and my affection grew for each one of its flawed but well-intentioned characters as they met a spiritual test that will leave them forever changed. I found In Sickness and in Health consoling (and dare I say spiritual), but without a trace of sentimentality. The ending surprised me, yet seemed exactly right. Nora Gold takes all her thorny characters to their emotional and spiritual edge, where the discoveries they make shine the light of possibility on the unexplored corners of every life.
– Rona Maynard, former Editor of Chatelaine and author of Starter Dog: My Path to Joy, Belonging and Loving This World

Nora Gold… has just published what Vegas aficionados call a twofer – that is two for the price of one, in this case two novellas… Gold accomplishes the technical challenges of each novella deftly while bringing each to a successful resolution… Which is when the reader realizes that these two stories have more in common than one might think at first blush… Both novellas are about finding community, and about being supported – one from a loving spouse, the other from a community brought together by a set of shared experiences. And that makes for a twofer worth reading.
– Tom Teicholz,

Nora Gold uses wonderful descriptive techniques and an innate sense of character to convey the complexity of human emotions, addressing themes of acceptance, loss, and the unpredictability of fate. Reading these novellas was an immersive experience, and I was impressed with the way that Gold navigated delicate subjects with empathy and authenticity, sticking to a character-driven style that keeps us involved and attuned to her central figures. I found the cultural and social elements of the work really warmly handled and informative, bringing people into both lives with disabilities and Jewish life with a welcoming feel. Her storytelling prowess and keen understanding of the human condition make these novellas emotionally resonant and thought-provoking, offering readers a glimpse into the intricate tapestry of life’s challenges and the potential for transformative connections. Overall, I would certainly recommend In Sickness and In Health / Yom Kippur in a Gym for fans of accomplished literary novellas everywhere.
– Readers’ Favorites – 5 stars out of 5

Nora Gold’s two novellas are full of wry humour and unusual perspectives, all wonderfully conveyed.
– Norman Ravvin, professor at Concordia University, author of Who Gets In: An Immigration Story

REVIEWS of In Sickness and In Health / Yom Kippur in a Gym:

Ottawa Review of Books – In Sickness and In Health
Ottawa Review of Books – Yom Kippur in a Gym
A Novel Review podcast (Australia)
Lucy Black (in TMR)
Reader Views (5-star review)
Readers Favorite (5-star review)
Left on the Shelf (UK)

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