About the Deleted Scenes from Memories from Cherry Harvest
Warning: Spoiler Alert
I strongly urge you not to read the deleted scenes until you have finished reading Cherry Harvest. Key information that will ruin some of the tensions and surprises of the book is revealed in these scenes. They will still be available here on the Woza Books website (at no cost) for you to read when you have finished the book. So be patient, read the book first, and then come back to check out the sections that wound up on the cutting room floor. That said, don’t even read any further on this page until you complete the book!
A Word About the Deleted Scenes
The three sections I refer to here as “deleted scenes” last appeared in a 2009 version of the book. When Cherry Harvest won the Fabri Prize and was thus accepted for publication, I was asked to remove the sections about Sophie, Shayna, and Sarah because the Fabri Prize Selection Committee believed that these sections were not as compelling as the rest of the book, they slowed the pace, and they made the book altogether too long. These sections originally followed the Rina section (in that order: Sophie, Shayna, Sarah). To remove these sections, I had to identify all the material in them that moved the plot forward, that contributed to the development of the characters and their relationships with one another, and that I felt was necessary for the full presentation of the themes and constructs that were central to the book. I then found ways to creatively move the essential material from these sections into other parts of the book in some fashion so that it was not entirely lost. A few features that I would have loved to retain were not transferable and I will always feel sad that they were dropped from the book, but it could not be helped.
Cherry Harvest underwent many revisions, rewrites, and transformations after these sections were removed. In order to make the story tighter and cleaner, and based on constructive criticism offered by the Fabri Prize Selection Committee, I revised the book to follow a clear family line from Ruth to Rina to Miriam. To facilitate this change, I decided to make Sophie barren. I was sad to do away with her sons and I also had misgivings about abandoning the exploration of the complexity of her relationship with her husband. That original backstory appears in the Sophie section, even though Cherry Harvest moved past it and into a version in which none of these elements could remain. In 2009, before the extensive work that I did on the book to prepare it for publication, and before the removal of the Sophie, Shayna, and Sarah sections, the rocky relationship between Ruth and Rina was never effectively resolved. Their original failure to reconcile appears peripherally in the Sophie and Sarah sections. I think the book reads better and is more satisfying as it is now, with the reconciliation between mother and daughter. I had the hardest time of all removing Sarah’s section. I love that section and there are so many aspects to her story that I didn’t want to lose from the book. I was surprised that the Fabri Prize Selection Committee did not find her story compelling and uniformly agreed that I should remove it. I’m hoping that it will speak more to some of the readers who find it here than it did to the Committee.
As with all of my work, I hope that you, Dear Reader, find something of value to take away with you from my words.