Once in a while if we as readers are lucky, pick up a book that effects us profoundly. For me, it was this book, I kept putting it down, to think about what I was reading, and yes even to let my emotions level out. The subject is a complicated one, Jewish and Arab relations in Isreal, but the author gives us a personal viewpoint, using three friends, two Arab, one Jewish. When the book opens, Jonathan sits in a jail, he is our narrator and their story is revealed as Jonathan writes to his Arab friend, Laith.
Using a letter, we are privvy to Jonathan's most personal thoughts and experiences, essentially placed inside his mind. His conflicted thoughts, as now shortly after his nineteenth birthday, he is in the military, something all Isrealis of this age must do, but can't figure out where his loyalties lie. Do they like with the country he has sworn to protect, his grandfather insists the Jewish people are his family and that is all he needs to consider. What about his derp friendships, love for Laith and his twin sister? Where does this fit in, and how can he fight against a people who he can't hate. Learning the back stories of his own grandfather and the grandmother of the twins, leads him to only more doubt.
As far as novels go this is short in pages, but large in content. It is powerful and intense. The author presents all sides in this conflict, and it is these many sides that Jonathan tries to solidify into a cohesive hole. It is a novel of a deep friendship, and a young man who feels greatly. I sometimes wonder what would happen if the young people on both sides of this conflict, well any conflict really, put down their guns and refused to fight any longer. No longer wanting to watch their friends die, their families and countries torn apart. Just said no more to following leaders blindly. It will never happen, but wouldn't it be wonderful if it did?
Another read with Angela and Esil, this book probably the best one we have read together. I cherish these reads and the thoughts we share.
ARC from Edelweiss.
Today my mama drove me and my girls to visit with my Bubi. It was a surprise for her and seeing the elation on her face when she saw us all at her door...it nearly brought me to tears. She hugged me so hard and for so long that my girls started to feel left out. She's been ill lately, and is very stubborn about listening to the regimen the doctors have laid out for her. I know you are not supposed to have favorites, but not only is she the grandparent I've always been the closest to, she's the only one I have left.
Over the years, I've been to the funerals of my paternal great grandmother, paternal grandmother, both grandfathers and two uncles. Seven years ago I nearly lost my best friend--my soulmate to a clogged artery and was a total basket case sitting in a surgical waiting room for over six hour just waiting to hear if he was okay. Nine months ago a misogynistic, xenophobic, racist madman won the presidency of my country and I had to hold my daughter as she cried, fearing she'd be forced into a conversion camp because the future vice president believes in them. A few weeks later, I lost my father. Six weeks ago I lost my [nearly] 18-year-old cat. A week ago, my nephew's car, with my brother driving, burst into flames. When my brother told me what happened, he said it was daddy that got him out of the car safely. But it was a near thing.
This afternoon, as we visited with the matriarch of the family, we went through bunches and bunches of photos. There were so many happy and funny memories. It was so nice seeing those photos, but it also reminded me of how much time has gone by, and how much I miss my pop, and how I'm not even close to being done grieving my daddy. And I'm so messed up over my cat that I was triggered reading a few animal specific scenes in The Diabolic and I turned off Game of Thrones in the middle of an episode and never finished the rest off the season. (Don't want to spoil anyone, but if you watch the show, you probably know why.)
We all know death is a part of life. There is no escape, and for some, like my Paw-Paw, it's a kindness. And we try to keep the good times in mind, or say placating things like, "They're in a better place," or "They're not suffering anymore" but death still really effing sucks. Especially when it piles on you one right after the other.
Seeing my mother scolding my Bubi for not keeping her oxygen on at all times just reminded me that I'll lose her too (possibly soon). It gave me all the sad feels. Especially when mama called me later to say thanks for today and to remind me that she loves me and my bro very much.
I don't spend nearly enough time with my family. So I guess this is me venting my sadness and reminding everyone to spend time with your loved ones while they're still with you--or while you're still with them.
My genes, my love, are rubber bands and rope - make yourself a structure you can live inside.
Happy 48th birthday, Aimee Bender! The American author writes books marked by surrealism and light, that still manage to stab the reader in the heart.
This is one of three books I've read recently that does not use quotation marks. WHY?? It's so confusing! Especially when the author also breaks the rule of starting a new paragraph when a new person talks and has two people talking, without quotation marks, in the same paragraph! Argh! Stop doing this!!
Anyway, this is an interesting story about a normal American family whose members just so happen to have supernatural abilities. I love how differently each person handled it. I loved how differently the normal people reacted to it. I think it's a pretty realistic, down-to-earth portrayal of what life would be like with relatively mild superpowers.
On the other hand, I can't figure out how I feel about Joseph's ability... Like, I get the symbolism. But it's just so weird! I was also really confused by the last chapter. I think it's a flash-back. But it wasn't clear to me while reading it at what point in the timeline it took place. That's why I can't confidently choose a rating for this book.
This isn't super important to the plot, but every time the family goes to a restaurant to eat, her dad immediately cuts his portions in half and puts half in a to-go box to give to the first homeless person he sees when they leave, which I thought was a really cool idea.