Exclusive: Author Jessie Rosen on her superstition-inspired romance The Heirloom

New York, New York - Author Jessie Rosen has incorporated her unique family superstitions into a moving tale of love, loss, and luck in her new novel, The Heirloom, and she sat down with TAG24 to dish on the anticipated read.

The Heirloom by Jessie Rosen will be released on May 7, 2024.
The Heirloom by Jessie Rosen will be released on May 7, 2024.  © Courtesy of Kathleen Carter

The Heirloom, which hits bookstores on May 7, follows a woman named Shea, who should be head over heels with her brand-new fiancé and stunning engagement ring.

But there's just one problem – Shea takes her superstitions quite seriously, and her fiancé, John, has gone against her biggest belief by proposing with a vintage ring.

Shea's fears about the bad karma associated with such an heirloom actually came courtesy of Rosen's own family traditions, as she told TAG24.

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"This was being written as I was further into my own marriage, and I was thinking about that time and reflecting on it and all the growing that I did in that process and really wanted to honor that and put that on the page," Rosen said.

Shea decides to track down the story behind the ring, hoping that, should it have belonged to a happy couple, she'd be safe accepting it. The journey, featuring vivid travels through Italy and Portugal, drew inspiration from Rosen's time studying abroad, which just so happens to be when the award-winning blogger fell in love with writing.

Naturally, Shea's trip – sans her fiancé – to figure out whether her engagement is a good idea prompts some questions about her true feelings, something that Rosen believes superstitions often have a knack for doing.

"I always think that they're a sign of something that's going on within us, a fear and apprehension, something unresolved," she said.

"So yes, [Shea] has this superstition, and she holds it dearly. But why in the world is this more important than her actual relationship with this man?"

The Heirloom passes through a romance renaissance

The Heirloom is author Jessie Rosen's adult debut.
The Heirloom is author Jessie Rosen's adult debut.  © Courtesy of Kathleen Carter

Rosen, a proud student of "the school of Nora Ephron," has always been drawn to stories about love, but with The Heirloom, she set out to tell one that was just as much about a woman falling in love with herself as it was about finding her happy ending.

The Heirloom's release comes as romance novels continue to dominate the publishing world, driven in part by online communities like BookTok. This moment is something worth celebrating, Rosen says, but the value of such books is not entirely new, either.

"I think romance novels have always been empowering," she said. "They've been female-focused. They've been feminists. They've had these angles that allow women to focus on themselves, their emotions inside their perspective."

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By taking on a new power in the marketplace, Rosen says the genre is slowly proving to the industry that these reads "are not fluff pieces; they're actually really deep and powerful stories."

For more on this month's hottest book releases, check out TAG24's May Book Release Radar.

Cover photo: Collage: Courtesy of Kathleen Carter

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