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130
Raquela: A Woman of Israel
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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2000
this is a beautifully written book.it is actually the history of the forming of the state of israel but it reads like a novel.i found it to be extremely informative & written with great sensitivity. i had to put the book down for several days at a time to absorb the strong emotional content.this is a must read for all jews & non jews,alike.raquella was an incredibly intelligent, motivated & strong woman.she accomlished much in her life & was an extremely humble human being. enjoy our history!
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2002
This book is, in one sense, the biography of a woman whose family has always lived in Jerusalem but in another sense it is a novel of one woman's life as she grows up, falls in love, gets married, has children, loses her son and child.
It is also a novel of how politics and personal life intersect: here we find Arab-Jewish relations ruptured during the Hebron Massacre only to be re-constituted again after the formation of the State of Israel; here we find Raquela's son killed in one war amongst many; here we see the international aid traded for guns in the refugee camps. And above all, here we see the heartbreak and the triumph of one woman, one Jerusalemite, who lives in her own country.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Israel and Israelis, be they Arab or Jews or Christian.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2004
I read this book when I was 15 years old. Wow! I was SOOO impressed with Raquela's courage and integrity that at that point I decided if I had a daughter I would name her Raquela. Nine years later, I had a baby girl and her name is Raquela. I read this book again a few years ago and was once again impressed. Just a month ago my husband, daughter, Raquela, and I were able to go to Israel and I saw Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus. My daughter was able to see and walk the same places as her namesake. Ruth Gruber beautifully laid this story out and I agree it reads like a novel and is very hard to put down.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2002
I enjoyed this book very much and couldn't wait to finish it to see what happened next. I also learned alot from this book on how the people of that time had coped, had courage, and the strength to try and live their lives. I though of Raquela as an ingretible woman with lots of strenght and mental power.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2005
Terrific story, well-told, exciting, thrilling, heartwarming, and real. An eye-opener to what really went on there and just how hard the Israeli people had to fight. I have never throughout all my education and reading understood Israel the way I did through Raquela's eyes. I had no idea the British were involved in that way, and was disappointed to learn of it. I learned a lot from this book from the perspective of an Israeli-born Israeli. The internment camps were dispicable, the people who ran them disgusting and almost as guilty as nazis.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2002
This book is, in one sense, the biography of a woman whose family has always lived in Jerusalem but in another sense it is a novel of one woman's life as she grows up, falls in love, gets married, has children, loses her son and child.
It is also a novel of how politics and personal life intersect: here we find Arab-Jewish relations ruptured during the Hebron Massacre only to be re-constituted again after the formation of the State of Israel; here we find Raquela's son killed in one war amongst many; here we see the international aid traded for guns in the refugee camps. And above all, here we see the heartbreak and the triumph of one woman, one Jerusalemite, who lives in her own country.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Israel and Israelis, be they Arab or Jews or Christian.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2005
This biography details in vivid tones the life of a ninth generation Jerusalemite. Through her life we see the history of modern Israel, joys and hardships, wars and victories, all in personal terms without any heavy-handedness. Because it reads like a novel, it is engrossing; because it is a true story it is amazing. Ruth Gruber paints a rich and vivid portrait of the woman and of the nation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2005
Extremely well written, a real page turner. I hated to put it down and would have read the whole of it in one sitting if I'd had the chance. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a great read, and who really cares to understand the heart of Israel's struggles for Statehood - from the human perspective.
First rate!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
When Ruth Gruber began the research on this book she searched throughout Israel for an ideal figure whose life - story could embody and best exemplify the history of modern Israel. At Hadassah Hopital in Jerusalem she was told by Prof. Kalman Mann of a woman named Rachel Prywes who had been a nurse and midwife. This was the ideal figure and Gruber embarked on telling her story.
It is that of a twelvth generation- Jerusalemite who from childhood was involved in the struggle to create an independent and free Jewish state in the land of Israel. The story is told in the form of the novel. Much of the dialogue seems simplistic and awkward. This is not great literature.
But the story is told with a straightforwardness. It has a quality of authenticity. It tells the basic Zionist narrative in which the conflict in the Middle East was by and large created by Arab intransigence, and refusal to live in peace with Jewish neighbors. It tells of heroic chapters in the life of the country. In the course of the story the nurse Raquela also comes to work at the interment camp at Atlit where the British are holding concentration- camp survivors who want to enter Israel.They were taken at sea by the British and held in prison. Her heroic efforts there and later . The efforts made by the medical team she is a part of in saving Bedouin infants and introducing medical care to the Bedouin community , are evidence for what to my own mind has become a painful ironic truth in regard to many people's reading of the Arab- Israeli conflict today. They forget completely the great efforts made the Jews to improve the life for all citizens of the country, Jew and Arab alike. They say nothing about the way the Arabs perpetuated their own refugee problem, how they refused to settle the six hundred thousand Arabs who left the Holy Land during the War of Independence. They say nothing about the great task the Jews did in taking in and providing new lives for such a vast number of immigrants.
The book points out again the irony that it is precisely the side that has been decent, fair, humane , the Israeli Jewish one which is perpetually accused of being the oppressor.
The story of Raquela herself, her romantic struggles especially is again told in a simplistic, straightforward, and nonetheless not unmoving way.
I simply great enjoyed this book, and I think most readers who want to learn more about how the Jewish state developed, while at the same time relaxing with a good novel, would do well to read this book.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2003
This book is a wonderfully told life story of an amazing woman! I couldnt put it down!
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