The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem

Sarit Yishai-Levi

A No. 1 international bestseller, The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem is a dazzling novel of mothers and daughters, stories told and untold, and the ties that bind four generations of women.

Gabriela’s mother Luna is the most beautiful woman in all of Jerusalem, though her famed beauty and charm seem to be reserved for everyone but her daughter. Ever since Gabriela can remember, she and Luna have struggled to connect. But when tragedy strikes, Gabriela senses there’s more to her mother than painted nails and lips.

Desperate to understand their relationship, Gabriela pieces together the stories of her family’s previous generations – from Great-Grandmother Mercada the renowned healer, to Grandma Rosa who cleaned houses for the English, to Luna who had the nicest legs in Jerusalem. But Gabriela must face a past and present far more complex than she ever imagined.

Spanning decades, The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem follows generations of unforgettable women as they forge their own paths through times of dramatic change, and paints a dazzling portrait of a family and a young nation as they struggle to find their way even as others try to carve it out for them.


ISBN: 9781800750197

Published: June 9, 2022


ISBN: 9781800750203

Published: October 16, 2020


Reviews for The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem

‘Fans of Gabriel Garcia Marquez will find much to love in The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem. The narrative is lush and rife with scandalous secrets of a passionately opinionated family’ – Jewish Journal

Compelling and satisfying‘ – B.A. Shapiro

Paints a vivid picture of the traditions, folklore and language of Jerusalem’s very significant Sephardic community’ – Jewish Weekly

‘An epic multigenerational saga about the passions and tragedies of a Sephardi (Spanish Jewish) family, fated to marry and live without love’ – The Times


Sarit Yishai-Levi

Sarit Yishai-Levi is a renowned Israeli journalist, notable for being the first Israeli to interview Yasser Arafat. She is the author of four non-fiction books and her debut novel, The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem, was a #1 bestseller and won the Publishers Association’s Gold and Platinum Prizes and the Steimatzky Prize for bestselling book of the year in Israel. She lives in Tel Aviv.