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)
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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 BibelCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved