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The Covenant Kindle Edition

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Length: 289 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ragen, an American writer who's lived in Israel for more than 30 years, blends tragedies of the past with headline news of today in her gripping, emotionally charged sixth novel. It's 2002, and the Margulies family—oncologist Jonathan; his pregnant, American-born wife, Elise; and their daughter, Ilana—are contentedly living in a Jerusalem settlement, until one day, on their way home, Jonathan and Ilana are kidnapped by Hamas. Elise's frantic call to her Bubbee Leah in Brooklyn reunites four women—now grandmas and great-grandmas—who, as girls, made the titular covenant: if they survived Auschwitz, they would become "one person, risking everything, giving everything, to help each other live in happiness all the days of our lives." Leah gathers up fellow New Yorker Esther, now a cosmetics millionaire; Paris nightclub owner Ariana; and Polish political activist Maria to help find the kidnap victims. It's a race against time, as the women wield their considerable influence and the Israeli army desperately tries to intercede with the kidnappers before the captives are killed. Ragen weaves in deeper, more serious undertones than the thriller plot suggests, touching on the stubborn pride and the serious purpose that keeps Israelis fighting (or, in some cases, not fighting) for their fragile country, "the land that God promised to the Jewish people in his Covenant to Abraham."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

When Elise and Jon moved into their home in Maaleh Sara, Judea, they didn't realize that they would soon be considered "illegal occupiers" and that terrorists might be "laying in wait." Indeed, one day the unthinkable happens: Jon and the couple's young daughter, Ilana, are taken hostage at gunpoint and ransomed for an impossible political price. When Elise calls her grandmother Leah in America, she sets in motion a series of sprawling events that spring, at least in part, from an oath made at Auschwitz. Blending past and present, Ragen outlines some of the hugely complicated issues that exist in the Middle East today, and though her political sympathies seem clear early on, as events play out and more characters (perhaps too many) enter the mix, there are some welcome surprises. Innocents become political pawns, and politics becomes personal in this raw, poignant novel wrapped around a decades-old conflict. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 733 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0312291191
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; Reprint edition (April 1, 2007)
  • Publication Date: April 1, 2007
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003J564K8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,979 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Nancy R. Katz VINE VOICE on January 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The Covenant by Naomi Ragen, which is set in Israel also flashes back to the Holocaust where four women make a pact in this case to be known in the future as a covenant. The covenant is not only to survive Auschwitz, but to help each other in the future when any one of them is in trouble. And this time each of them is called upon to help when in Israel the husband and young child of one of their granddaughter's is kidnapped by the Palestinians. While we read about Elise Margulies, her husband and daughter, it is her elderly grandmother who recalls her days in the camps. Through her memories we come to know Ariana, Maria and Esther. After the war each of them continues in the their own way to right some of the wrongs of the world, but never have they banded together through even their grandchildren to save Elise's family.

Naomi Ragen, the author of this book, has written several previous books which were also set in Israel. Born in America she has lived in Israel for the last three decades. It is because of Ms. Ragen's first hand knowledge of the area and issues that the events in the book are well described. And the characters, especially the members of the covenant, will become truly inspiring to readers everywhere. This was a compelling and interesting read with questions concerning the Mideast for which there are few answers. I recommend this book to readers who enjoyed books like Exodus by Leon Uris and War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By L. Ligett on August 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
So many books, TV shows, and movies that feature stories "ripped from the headlines" end up being shallow or callous. While this is not the perfect book, The Covenant managed to exceed my expectations.

Although some characters are a bit under-developed, the story of the Covenant between the elderly women is wonderfully told through flashback memories and their current actions. I also appreciated the portrayal of a terrorist attack. It humanized the victims and some of the terrorists without making the terrorists sympathetic. This is certainly a tricky thing to do!

There is certainly a pro-Israel bias to the story, which should not surprise anyone. However, this is fiction, so I can stand a bit of editorializing and artistic license in the portrayal of good and bad guys. All in all, if you have any interest in the Middle East or are just looking for a compelling story with interesting characters, The Covenant is worth your time.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Gary Selikow on September 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a novel based on the reality faced by the people of Israel , a reality which a prejudiced and biased media will not tell you about.

. The reality of a people living in the shadow of Arab terror , relentless , brutal terror aimed at driving the Jews out of their ancient homeland.

It also brings us face to face with the ugliness of the international media , in their campaign to prepare the world for the genocide of the Jews in Israel.

The reaction of British journalist to the murder of a Jewish baby by an Arab sniper encapsulates the callous hatred of the British media towards Israel's Jews too well " Oh , a settler's brat got herself shot and then the IDF went in and demolished someones house'.

It is 2002 and pregnant Elise Margulies receives the news that her husband , Dr Jonathan Margulies , a cancer specialist at Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem, and their five year old daughter Illana have been kidnapped by Hamas. The evil organization , epitomised by the psycopathic monster Marwan Bahama , threatens to execute both of the hostages unless their insane demands are met.

When her 'Bubbee' Leah in Brooklyn , hears about this she gathers together three of her old friends , all survivors of Auschwitz , to fulfil an oath they made in the death camp, to always act as one.

Also in play are the British media, featuring self-hating Jewish journalist Julia Greenberg , , who sees Arab terrrorists as dowtrodden noble savages , and blames their own Jewish victims , and who manages to slant even this cruel act , to show more pro-Palestinian propaganda , so typical of the British media today, which would make Josef Goebbles proud.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on December 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Wow, where do I start? THE COVENANT has so much depth, with characters so rich you want to telephone them for an interview and a story so frightening that it will leave your spine tingling for days, if not weeks. With its contemporary theme, it brings the horror that was Auschwitz to the present, and contrasts that historical inhumanity with today's terrors.

American Elise Margulies lives in the holy land, thrilled to own a piece of it where she and her husband, Dr. Jon, can raise their toddler Ilana and unborn child. The one drawback to the house is its distance from the hospital where Jon gives cancer patients treatment and hope. In the past few months, it has become increasingly dangerous to drive through the rural areas so vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Refusing to live in constant fear, the Margulies family continues life as usual, in the naïve belief that something is being done to keep the roads safe. But then one day the unthinkable happens. The car in which Jon drove Ilana to her ballet recital is found, empty --- and riddled with bullets.

With no bodies at the scene, Elise allows herself to hope. But she has forgotten that death isn't always the worst that can happen. A videotape arrives, showing her husband and her daughter in the hands of Muslim extremists, making unmeetable demands in exchange for their lives. Elise despairs, until she makes a call to her Grandmother Leah.

A petite Jewish lady, Leah has survived Auschwitz. And she has friends --- three powerful, determined, loyal old women who formed the Covenant during their encampment. There is little the world can throw at them that would hurt them more than they already have been. Injuring a granddaughter or her family is one of them.
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