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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
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.
I live in Israel and had special enjoyment from reading credible descriptions of its various 'scenes' and 'situations' various worlds of nature and social reality. Elon knows the country and society well, and her story gives a strong loving sense of it. While one might feel the major complication, the marriage of her daughter and his son, as somewhat contrived this does not really diminish from the drama and enjoyment of this wonderfully rich and skillfully written novel.
I would add that the feeling of love for Israel, its people and land that pervades the Novel makes it for me especially enjoyable and inspiring.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 11, 2008
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
on 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 things..like 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
"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
on May 13, 2011
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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on December 14, 2013
I thought this book was really good. It is different than the kind of books I usually read. Since it was all about Jewish people & the different kinds of their religion, I thought I would get to learn about something I knew nothing about. After reading it, I not only learned a lot but really enjoyed the story. I would read more from this author.
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on August 9, 2013
If You Awaken Love is a book that keeps you reading. I am recommending it to members of a discussion group that I am coordinating.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2009
This book reads like a proposed movie script. Characters are unidimensional, situations are forced, thoughts are random and scripted and the presentation is fuzzy. The protagonist is totally consumed with herself, acts in an irrational manner and seems to have no psychological insights. Her relationships center about how she feels, how she reacts and how all events make her respond. Others exist for her edification or pleasure. The translation is good except for an occasional "forced into English" mode. If love is as represented in this novel, few would choose to be in love.
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on April 29, 2015
over written
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2013
There were several religious practices and words I had to look up on my Kindle. Some were too specific to show up.
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