Where the Desert Meets the Sea eBook à the Desert

Where the Desert Meets the Sea The history is correct but the story told through these fictional characters is very bland and melodramatic It flip flops all over with hyper hot headed Arabs and Jews massacring each other while the British smoke cigarettes and ignore the mess that they have created by their 31 year Mandate in Palestine Israel's history is complicated and deserves to be told in a balanced story where the people are than paper dolls wanting to survive In this book everyone is the bad guy and that's just not how it was 15 stars I wanted to love this book SO BAD but it fell so flat for me It covers the narrative of the emergence of Israel as a state which is something so rarely covered in historical fiction The subject matter itself was incredibly interesting to me but I think I would've rather just read a non fiction book about this time rather than thisMy biggest problem with this book was the writing I understand that this is a translation so I'm not sure exactly how that effects the writing However what I read was choppy and all over the place There was no fluidity it randomly jumped from perspective to perspective with no indication or warning I had such a hard time keeping track of the myriad of characters thrown into the plot Speaking of the characters they were one dimensional and had absolutely no depth I had only a slight interest in about two of the characters who were somewhat fleshed out Many character's personalities were also poorly planned they uickly changed their fundamental beliefs for the sake of the story line In addition this book was very biased While it claims not to be the author clearly shows a preference and resolves the stories of the Jews while leaving stories unresolved for the Arab characters I saw Judith and Hana as euals on either sides of the violence when comparing the stories of these two characters who should've been eual you can clearly see the bias A much effective approach to this book would've been following just these two characters and the way their lives aligned to expose the euality between the two sides rather than creating a further divide The abundance of perspectives added nothing to this book except confusion I can see the effort the author was trying to make by including so many different narratives but ultimately it was executed poorly The time setting for this novel is just after WW II and the freed Jews from the concentration camps are trying to get to their historic homeland the Holy Land As the Jews arrive they become embroiled in age old disagreements over territory It is the story of the wars between the Jews and Arabs as they fight over Palestine and Jerusalem after the State of Israel is established in 1947 Needless to say it is a bloody story of massacres terrorism pillage and rape No mercy was shown no uarter given by either side The British military occupied the area but did little to intervene inn the fighting other than try to prevent the Jews’ arrival They had suffered their own losses over the years since their arrival in the 1920’s Their mandate was to modernize the area but were at the same time protecting their oil interests in the middle east The British left in 1948 It is a powerful story worth reading Got this one for free through First Reads as one of this month's selections and first and foremost it was worth every penny I paid for it Sorry I couldn't resist But it is what it is and most months I find that the allure of free books just isn't that alluring particularly because we have an excellent public library But having said that I have enjoyed a few of the freebies I've obtained this way It was a relatively uick read and a few of the characters were at least somewhat compelling and I don't regret reading it but it wasn't particularly memorable or uniuely well crafted in my opinionAs historical fiction goes it might be informative to someone unfamiliar with the post WWII creation and early conflict surrounding the new State of Israel which of course was a tumultuous period But well for anyone who read Leon Uris' 1958 classic Exodus it seems like a poor thin? substitute Granted Exodus is significantly one sided eg pro Israel at least as I recall it and this author tries to my mind rather unsuccessfully to be a bit even handed or balanced but nah I'm guessing not many readers find this one to be fair or balanced view which granted is a tall order Also to be fair Exodus weighs in at twice the length so it's not a fair comparison but still For modern Israeli fiction I recommend Amos Oz who recently passed away and if you're only going to read one serious book about Israel my all time favorite is Havlevi's sublime non fictional chronicle Like Dreamers which picks up the story a half generation after this book's story line Now that's an excellent and complex book well worth readingI'll never know whether my frustrations with the largely pedestrian flat? prose was the author's intent or the interpreter's vision but not many passages sang to me Still having said that the pages turned uickly and the story amused me through a couple of short flights so I'm not complaining Reviewer's visual side note when I saw the cover of this book I couldn't resist so I posted a picture on my profile page that's basically the same shot that's on the cover without the two women of course I spent an hour at the overlook above the Mount of Olives cemetery with the sun setting looking across at the Old City Frustratingly even though I had my tripod the evening I was there it was incredibly windy so it ended up being of a production than I'd planned But hey the shot still came out uite nicely So check it out An illuminating and heart stirring historical novel set in post WWII Palestine where the boundaries of love and friendship are challenged by the intractable conflicts of war Jerusalem 1947 Judith a young Jewish survivor of the Dachau concentration camp arrives in Mandatory Palestine seeking refuge with her only remaining relative her uncle When she learns that he has died she tries to take her own life in despairAfter awakening in the hospital Judith learns that Hana a Muslim Arab nurse has saved her life by donating her own blood While the two women develop a fragile bond each can’t help but be drawn deeper into the political machinations tearing the country apart After witnessing the repeated attacks inflicted on the Jews Judith makes the life changing decision to join the Zionist fight for Jerusalem And Hana’s star crossed love for Dr David Cohen an American Jew out of his element and working only to save lives will put her own life in dangerThen the political situation worsens When tensions erupt a shocking act of violence threatens Judith and Hana’s friendship—and the destinies of everyone they love Werner Sonne set out to write a novel about the state of the Holy Land and the Arab Israeli conflict following WWII with Britain's pullout of the area and the Jewish resettlement He wanted to write a book that did not take sides favoring neither Palestinians Jews nor British who in my estimation were the real instigators of much of the conflict that took place In Sonne's attempt to remain neutral he filled the story with far to many characters I hesitated to become invested in because they were bound to die a tragic death Too many I have read at least a half dozen books about this period lately but for some reason I held Where the Desert Meets the Sea at arm's length Maybe this is a subject we cannot remain neutral about Perhaps there was and is too much wrong done on all sides and too many lives lost in God's name to tell this story without prejudice Boring BookThe dialog is stilted and the characters are not realistic I would rather read a straight history book accounting of this time instead of this boring set of characters and setting I wanted to like it I usually love historic fiction But the characters are poorly developed I didn’t really feel connected to them or cared much what happened Also the story flops around a lot Very unsatisfying While this book does a good job of showing multiple perspectives surrounding the birth of Israel the switch between the characters isn’t very well done at all The characters are flat and I just didn’t enjoy this book which kills me because this area of history appeals so highly to me Some books are hard to rate and even harder to review Such is the case with this book for meI've given it 3 stars This has to do with jagged edges Missing pieces A little too much moving and not enough staying I wanted just a bit from each character I was introduced to There was depth but just not enough Beautiful descriptions and I bookmarked pages to go back to; but the bookmarks were mainly done within the first half of this book I was left feeling as though there was that needed to be said More history to be given Loose ends I didn't feel were complete A bit of chaos; and yet I suppose that's the living within war and its aftermath Picking up the pieces of whatever is left and carrying on What else is there to do?This book was well paced A bit confusing in parts; unless you're blessed with being able to keep names and storylines straight right from the first time you meet someone newHaving never really ventured into this part of the Israeli and Palestinian history before I found it to be informative A good read overall and a bur in my saddle that will be spurring me on to delve in deeper elsewhere on my own In parts this book should have broken me Broken my heart right open Split it in two However the emotions that should have swelled up into an ocean wall of water waiting to crash down and overwhelm never were given a chance to fully rise to the occasion It's not lack of empathy but a story that failed to deeply entrench me into the lives of those I was reading about I was right there with them There was anticipation premonition fear shock but when it came to the sadness it was as if I didn't have any tears to cry I would've preferred tearsThis book is by no means a waste of time; just not timeless Despite it's flaws it still manages to say and detail much within its compact pages It's written well enough to compel one forward The end simply wasn't the end and so I'm off to learn discover and uncover For better or worse I've been left wistful Wistful and now speechless until I live another day to read and write again

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