In this post, for a change, I'm asking for your advice. I finished writing my novel Stolen Waters in early September. You can read here on my writing process. I wrote two versions of a story summary for my query letter to literary agents. Which version do you think is the most compelling?
Summary Version #1
Stolen Waters is a modern version of Romeo and Juliet. A forbidden love affair sparks between an Israeli Jewish orthodox settler who is a military widow now living and working in the United States, and an American Catholic-born atheist man. Jude (Yehudit) needs to decide between the beliefs she was raised on and her longing for Rob. Her relationship with Rob takes her on a journey of self-discovery, beyond her religious and national self-definitions. Through her personal quest the reader goes on a journey exploring complex issues such as religion and gender roles, nationality, sexuality, grief, and love. The story is primarily told from Jude’s point of view with some chapters dedicated to Rob’s perspective. Throughout the story I use several biblical allusions to enrich the different scenes with deeper meaning and understanding of Jude’s many conflicts. The story takes place in Sacramento, Seattle, Mexico, and Israel.
Summary Version #2
Stolen Waters is a modern version of Romeo and Juliet. A forbidden love affair sparks between an Israeli Jewish orthodox settler and an American Catholic-born atheist man. Unable to overcome the grief over her late husband, who was killed during his military service, reproductive biologist Dr. Yehudit (Jude) Wise, decides to leave Israel and move to California at the age of 32. Seven years later, despite the geographical distance, her family still pressures her to remarry by fixing her up with potential ‘kosher’ candidates. Aside from her grief, Jude also carries a secret that makes her choose to stay alone and focus on her research. Her decision crumbles during a visit to Seattle, when she meets Dr. Robert Ryan, a 42 years old pediatric cardiologist. The strong physical attraction between them develops very quickly into a love affair. Shocked by her out-of-character behavior, Jude is convinced that her affair with Rob will not last when she returns to California. After learning that they have more in common than meets the eye, Rob insists that they should give their relationship a chance. Needing to decide between Rob and her people, Jude embarks on a journey of self-discovery, beyond her religious and national self-definitions.