Two Sisters of Coyoacan is based on a little-known aspect of Leon Trotsky’s assassination. It begins in Brownsville which had the largest population of Jews in New York City in the 1930’s. The narrative is told from the perspectives of Lilly and Gertie Abramovitz, two Jewish sisters, who unknowingly facilitated the assassination of Trotsky. The events in this novel are based on real events. However, Lilly and Gertie are fictionalizations based on Ruth and Sylvia Ageloff, daughters of a Russian immigrant who became a successful real estate developer.
There are inter-generational conflicts between the Abramovitz’s about whether one can be a landlord and a political activist at the same time. Like many American Jews at the time, Gertie and Lilly’s parents supported the overthrow of the Czarist regime by the Bolsheviks in 1917, but in the course of the 1930’s doctrinal splits between Stalinists and Trotskyists become more palpable destroying friendships at City College and even marriages along the way.