I wasn't quite sure where this book was going, it kind of lacked direction. What it did give though, was a feel for the divided life of an Arab citizen living in lands that once belonged to his Grandparents' generation, yet were now under Israeli rule.
The unnamed narrator gets a lucky break as a youngster, when his school grades mark him out for special education in a Jewish boarding school. Yet this is not without its inherent problems. He learns to imitate the Jews in language, behaviour, appearance and habits and he is actually insulted when he is recognised as an Arab. This pretense takes its toll though, and he does not become the builder of the first Arab atom bomb, as his parents expect. I cannot help but wonder if he might have done better by remaining in his home school, amongst his own. How much of his downfall is due to the stresses of trying to become someone that he is not.
What came across clearly, was the position of the Arabs as second class citizens, even third or fourth class citizens. How this impacted on their lives and aspirations. Even having the blue card that allowed them to work within Israeli borders, their options were limited.
It's quite a depressing book, but profound in its message and well worth reading for an understanding of the situation that we hear biased reports of from the media.