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If You Awaken Love [Kindle Edition]

Emunah Elon , David Hazony
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

After Yair Berman left her and shattered all her dreams, the devastated Shlomtzion Drore escaped as far as possible from him and her intensely religious life in Jerusalem, becoming an interior designer in secular Tel-Aviv. Twenty-one years later, her daughter has become engaged to his son, and Shlomtzion is forced to visit the controversial settlement in which Yair lives, not only to plan the wedding but to confront her former love and the mistakes of her life. Set in Israel between the Six Day War and the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, If You Awaken Love is the intensely moving story of a stormy and spiritual young girl and her love-hate relationships with her childhood sweetheart, with her father, and with God. Translated by David Hazony.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A Tel Aviv interior designer specializing in closed rooms and clients' privacy, 40-year-old Shlomtzion Drore closed herself off emotionally after her childhood sweetheart, Yair, broke off their engagement when his rabbi refused them his blessing. A rebound marriage, pregnancy and divorce quickly followed, as did an abandonment of the religious nationalism at the center of her relationship with Yair. Now it's the eve of Rabin's assassination in 1995, and Shlomtzion is a secular leftist who supports the Oslo peace accords and the dismantling of the controversial West Bank settlements. But when her daughter, Maya, undergoes a religious awakening and becomes engaged to Yair's son, Shlomtzion is forced to confront her old flame at his West Bank settlement home, and her pentup venom threatens to poison their children's happiness. West Bank resident Elon limns a vivid and dignified portrait of the Israeli religious minority, although at times her characters spout political rhetoric and Shlomtzion's overwritten obsession with Yair and their children's coincidental romance fails to suspend disbelief. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Shlomtzion Dror grew up in a religious community in Jerusalem. She and her childhood sweetheart, Yair Berman, planned to settle on the West Bank and create their ideal spiritual community. When Yair marries another women because his rabbi ordered him to do so, the devastated Shlomtzion escapes from the Orthodox world and moves to Tel Aviv, where she lives a secular life. Twenty-one years later, her world is shaken up when her daughter, Maya, a ba'ala teshuvah (newly observant Jew), moves to a West Bank settlement and announces her engagement to Yair's son, Ariel. Prompted by visiting the settlement and meeting Yair and his family, Shlomtzion examines her life and confronts both her first love and the mistakes she has made. This intensely personal story unfolds in Israel between the Six Days' War and the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. The depth of the characters and their complex love-hate relationships, a subtle plot portraying life in a religious community, and the background of modern history in an ancient land distinguish this first-rate debut. Barbara Bibel
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 404 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1611091144
  • Publisher: AmazonCrossingEnglish; Reprint edition (March 20, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007H9RH0S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #333,684 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On native ground June 10, 2008
I was surprised in a number of ways by this novel. First of all, by how good it is. It is a real page- turner in a good sense, has a story which holds the reader's interest from beginning to end. Secondly, I was surprised by the main character. Emuna Elon is the wife of Benny Elon a major Israeli politiician whose struggle is to bring the whole of the land of Israel within the boundaries of the sovereign Jewish state. Elon who has had a daily column for the major Israeli daily 'Yediot Achronot' so far as I know shares her husband's political position.
But in the novel the main character, and the one whose narrative voice directs the action ,Shlomtzion Dror belongs to the opposite political camp. Her personal story of rejection in love by her childhood sweetheart removes her from the national- religious world, and makes her a strong supporter of the secular Left, the same Left that argues passionately that the land of Israel should be divided, that the historical homeland of Judea and Samaria ( The West Bank) should be for the sake of Peace part of a Palestinian Arab state. So what we have throughout the work is quite a bit of seeing the community which Elon ostensibly belongs to , the 'settler' community through the negative eyes of the narrator. But the third surprise is that the political issue and drama is background and secondary to the heart of the novel. The heart of the novel is the love - story of Shlomtzion and Ariel , his rejection of her when his Rabbis fail to give a blessing to their message. The story tells what happens to her afterwards, how she makes a new life. And it too tells of a dramatic meeting which takes place when the daughter of Shulamit becomes engaged to the son of Ariel, and his wife, Leah.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The whole story of Israel today is here May 11, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully crafted novel; it's hard to believe that it is Elon's first. She captures the whole story of Israel in all its complexity, from the Six-Day War through the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, almost three decades. We see the old "yishuv," (those who lived in Israel long before statehood), the modernism of Tel Aviv, the right, the left, the religious, the secular, the young and idealistic, the middle-aged who are just making their life work. We find Jews who are murdered by Arab gunmen and Jews who genuinely want to share their land with the Palestinians.

Elon is able to show empathy both for the liberal, secularist Israelis and for the traditional, religious group. This is not a political tract but a story of love that somehow went wrong.

The reader's knowledge of the growing political storm engulfing the country after the Oslo accords only makes the book's ending more powerful.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing and Riveting June 29, 2007
Emuna Elon has captured the complexities of the Land of Israel and her people. This is not just a tale of unrequited love between a man and a woman but a story about much larger the unrequited love between G-d and man; the inner struggle of the individual human heart, the power of community and family and belief. This book and its characters invaded my dreams for over a week. I couldn't put it down and now after two weeks I am still thinking about what the author said and how she said it. It left an imprint on my soul. It is a must read. Keep writing Emuna!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book that hit home January 23, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"If you awaken love" by Emuna Elon touched on a raw nerve in my soul. Besides the fact that it is a beautifully written novel, it is one that touches each reader individually. I cried over it like a child.
This book raises some very interesting issues in Judaism and human psychi and how the two play out. The way Elon uses passages from the bible to support statemens and to spice out the story is breath taking.
"If you awaken love" is a tremendous bonus for any sensitive person interested in contemporary literature.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful story May 13, 2011
By Sue
A beautifully written story about a woman who finds herself face to face with the man she was (years earlier) unable to marry. I thought the characters were believable, the story line unique and riveting. Highly recommend!
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More About the Author

Emunah Elon was born in Jerusalem in 1955. She is currently teaching and writing. She has published one novel, seven children's books and many short stories. She has lived in the settlement of Beit-El since 1982, and has six children.

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