For thriller novelist Samantha Bailey, Jewish maternal anxiety is storytelling inspiration

Samantha Bailey, Canadian suspense novellist, is a Toronto based author. (Photo by Dahlia Katz).

In the weeks since her second thriller novel came out, Samantha Bailey has embarked on a virtual tour to promote her new book, speaking with book clubs and online author events every week. It’s a long way from a decade ago, when she was pitching her debut novel—a chick-lit story—to a small crowd at her father’s synagogue.

Things changed in 2019, when Simon & Schuster published Bailey’s breakout novel, Woman on the Edge, confronting issues of maternal anxiety and postpartum depression. Now, she’s following it up with Watch Out for Her, another suspense novel that dives into similar territory, focusing on a Jewish Canadian mother who fled her home in Vancouver after learning something shocking about her babysitter.

The CJN Daily host Ellin Bessner had the chance to sit down with Bailey while emceeing the Virtual JCC’s storyteller program. Listen to hear Bailey discuss the anxieties of Jewish motherhood and what it was like writing a novel during the pandemic.

What we talked about:


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