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The Mistake follows Marcus, born into privilege in Sardis, Asia Minor, where his unwed parents vie for his affection. He inherits a dual legacy— combat skills from his Roman centurion father, Julius, and a fascination with Jewish ethics from Miriame, his mother from a prosperous merchant family. Amidst rising tensions between Jews and Romans, Julius's cohort relocates to Caesarea, Israel's Roman Capitol. On this journey, Marcus's parents marry en route, and he becomes the linchpin holding the family together.


Enter Yonatan, Miriame's charismatic brother, who takes Marcus on a trade expedition. Immersed in a society of familial warmth and mysticism, Marcus is drawn away from the military world. As Julius's control intensifies, a destructive cycle ensues, threatening the family structure. Can Marcus navigate his own anger and preserve family unity amidst the turmoil? The Mistake weaves a compelling tale of family dynamics and personal growth against the backdrop of a world on the cusp of change.

The Mistake

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  • Mara Schiffren, PhD, was born in New York City and moved around between the two coasts of the USA as a child. In college she competed in fencing and soccer, then moved to Israel to pursue her interest in studying Jewish history and religion. There, she became passionate about her studies and decided to pursue advanced academic work. This culminated in a Doctorate in The Study of Religion at Harvard University with a focus on Jewish history and theology. She currently resides in North Salem, NY, with her dog and cat, where she writes for local papers and coaches Peak Performance and Creativity.

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