“Jewish Luck” is an ironic term in Russian and Yiddish. Historically, Russia has considered Jews to be a “problem,” but Vera and Alisa, two Leningrad-born Jewish women, consider the Communist government to be the problem. Jewish Luck recounts the unique intertwined story of two women whose chance meeting at the Institute of Finance and Economics in the mid-1970s led to a lifelong friendship based on their shared ambitions, disgust for the Russian government, and sense of humor. Once Perestroika and Glasnost emerge as the guiding principles of the 1980s, Vera and Alisa’s degrees in Marxist-Leninist economics are worthless. Then their resourcefulness comes into play: Alisa refuses to remain in Russia, escaping to Sweden without a word to her friend, and makes her success as a telecommunications executive; Vera forges her success in Russia becoming a business mogul and eventually retires to the Cayman Islands.
Sister authors Leslie Adler and Meryll worked together over three years to mesh their backgrounds in history and psychology to represent the voices of these two women in a narrative that would invite readers to inhabit the lives of Vera and Alisa.