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The Gilboa Iris Paperback – April 1, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Author and activist Englard s debut novel (after the nonfiction Settling for More: From Jersey to Judea) is a heart-wrenching and suspenseful tale of love set against the backdrop of an Israel embroiled in conflict. Dara Harow grew up in the U.S., but her grandfather s stories of his time in Israel impel her to visit. In the summer of 1983, Dara travels to volunteer on a kibbutz at the base of the Gilboa Mountains, though her parents insist she return home in time for her freshman year at Columbia University. In addition, her father is a rocket physicist with the U.S. Department of Defense, and is concerned about what message his daughter s time in Israel will send to the U.S. government. While on the kibbutz, Dara falls in love with Roni, a young Israeli officer in an elite counter-terrorism unit, and they soon make plans to marry against her parents wishes. Dara s life, however, is hurled into turmoil when a terror cell targets her father in an attempt to procure information regarding the U.S. s advanced rocket technology. Set within one of the world s most contentious regions, Englard crafts a fast-paced, spine-tingling story of danger, suspense, and of course love.(Apr.) --Publishers Weekly

Riveting breathless action a rousing story of romance!... The Gilboa Iris weaves together the timeless love story of Dara and Roni, a feisty American student and a brilliant Israeli commando, against the backdrop of global terror involving the infiltration of the US s defense stratum and a double homicide on American soil. Zahava D. Englard merges wit, history, adventure and the triumph of the human spirit into a sensational read!
--Grace Bennett-Inside Chappaqua Magazine

It was tough to tear my eyes away from The Gilboa Iris. While the main character is not family(!) I did relate to her story and its incorporation of the very real tensions, terrorism fears and other issues that so many of us in the Western world must deal with today. A fast-paced, exciting read that has you praying for a happy ending.
--Eve Harow - Israel National Radio Show host

Hard to believe The Gilboa Iris is Zahava Englard s first novel it sizzles, oozing passion of all kinds. Great plot, fascinating characters and, best of all, it s brimming with local lore. Don t miss this one!
--Yocheved Miriam Russo Freelance journalist, Israel

This moving story of love, death, rebirth and survival is a great read. --Ruthie Blum; American-Israeli author and social critic

Riveting breathless action a rousing story of romance!... The Gilboa Iris weaves together the timeless love story of Dara and Roni, a feisty American student and a brilliant Israeli commando, against the backdrop of global terror involving the infiltration of the US s defense stratum and a double homicide on American soil. Zahava D. Englard merges wit, history, adventure and the triumph of the human spirit into a sensational read!
Grace Bennett-Inside Chappaqua Magazine

It was tough to tear my eyes away from The Gilboa Iris.... While the main character is not family(!) I did relate to her story and its incorporation of the very real tensions, terrorism fears and other issues that so many of us in the Western world must deal with today. A fast-paced, exciting read that has you praying for a happy ending. --Eve Harow-Israel National Radio Show host

About the Author

A native of New York, Zahava Englard lived in Teaneck, NJ, before moving with her family to Israel in 2006. An outspoken activist in the United States on behalf of Israel, she served as trustee on the executive board of One Israel Fund and as its executive director. Presently Zahava lives in Efrat, Gush Etzion. Her writing includes Settling for More: From Jersey to Judea, and she lectures in the United States and Israel about her books, Jewish activism, and her passion for Israel s well-being. This is her first novel.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 465 pages
  • Publisher: Gefen Publishing (April 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9652295744
  • ISBN-13: 978-9652295743
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,646,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
Let me start by saying that I too read The Gilboa Iris in one sitting. Expecting to read for a half-hour or so before bed, I stayed awake through to the last page. So I liked it. Definitely. As an unusual blend of fairy tale and tragedy, it succeeds. I cried...and was also pleased to laugh out loud. Englard has some excellent funny lines that read true to one familiar with both American and Israeli society, and the intersection of the two. Moreover, the complexities in the society she depicts - even to the interplay between religion and secularism - are nuanced, at least to this informed reader. And the characters left me wistful for the depth of feeling in their commitments and relationships.

Unfortunately, the text has a long way to go. The editing leaves more than a little to be desired, with typos and elementary grammatical errors glaring. More substantively, the words of The Gilboa Iris are often repetitive, flourish with melodrama, and are self-conscious enough to hold this reader at arm's length. Instead of being fully consumed by the story and the personalities and the issues, I found myself noticing the words...rephrasing as I read, which detracted somewhat from the novel as a whole. And structurally, I was able to predict the end of the story early on, as well as some of the most significant points of action along the way.

Still, I will say that even fairly certain as to how the plot would unfold, I was hooked into the story. I enjoyed the twists and turns in Englard's plot - some moving and disturbing. She brought difficult characters to life and she conveyed some of the rough purity (if I may be so bold) of contemporary life in Israel. I hope she keeps writing (perhaps with more rigorous editing to take her work to the next level), because I will be glad to read more from her.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cheryle Tacher on March 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
The Gilboa Iris is a story of love,loss,faith,hope,and perseverance. Written from the heart and perspective of one whose very being is entrenched in national pride, Zahava Englard brilliantly draws us into the lives of her vibrant,colorful characters using mystery, excitement, drama, and humor. We are captivated by beautiful, descriptive language and flowing dialogue. Every adventure will leave you breathless as you follow the protagonists around the globe completely unprepared for the unknown. More than a touch of chilling reality evokes sentiments of compassion, anger, and frustration and yet these feelings are embraced by the reader throughout the entire, spectacular plot.
This electrifying novel is not to be missed! I can't wait for the sequel!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By SassVideo on September 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
I loved this book; thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. Both my parents got a copy and loved it too. That's how good it is - it's for all ages. I guess the reason I liked it most was because it kinda reminded me of all the stuff I love in a Faye Kellerman type novel - the romance and intrigue - but with a story based in one of the most fought-over miniscule pieces of land in the world - my homeland, the land of Israel. Although I have lived in this country for over a decade, there is still much I don't know about it - especially the area where the novel is placed.
The love between the two main characters is electrifying and way more intense in its description than anything viewable on TV. The relationship the female character enjoys with her parents is devastating, cold, yet understandable in parts. And the love she has for the land that is automatic is so typical of how so many new olim (immigrants) feel on starting their lives afresh in the land.
I recommend this book to anyone looking for a book they can't put down; a tale of intrigue and romance; and to get just a little bit extra information about the most beautiful land in the world.
All I want now is a sequel!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By De Ann Townes Jr. on September 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
Going into this novel was somewhat of a mystery for me..... I received it as a read and review for one of the book clubs that I belong too..... I started reading with absolutely no expectations at all. Hoping for just a really interesting and good read, sonrisa....

I was filled with many emotions.... First utter sadness {not truly understanding why at first}, after reading the wonderful quotes that "Author Zahava D. Englard" included from such people as "Emily Dickinson" and "Dietrich Bonheoffer {Who was a Participant in the German Resistance against Nazism}"..... Then the touching dedication to her three Daughter's..... I was given pause by the {Credo of the Muslim Brotherhood} included right before the quotes and right after the dedication to her Daughter's.... The order of which may have had something to do with my pause, I am not sure.....

Then as I moved on to the Prologue that takes place in "Israel, 2001", all I could do was hold my breath and know in my heart, that this was not only going to be a very interesting novel....but that it was going to be one of those novels that totally changes you from Deep within your Heart and Soul.....

I was right!!!..... "Author Zahava D. Englard's" Heart and Soul has been poured into and Displayed for all who has the privilege to ever read this Amazing and poignantly emotional read, to truly come to feel such emotions as { Love, Hate, Understand, Want to Understand, but truly not totally Know How, Empathize, Sympathize and Embrace }, such a Human Story.... That reaches all Barriers, Breaking through all Perceptions, and Gripping the Souls of All, {who have ever truly experienced that kind of Loss.... The kind that Cripple's your Very Essence}....

A Triumph of Literary Excellence to "Author Zahava D.
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