Eighty-six-year-old Elias yearns to reconnect with his past. At last, he is ready to confess the truth of his one great love—a secret he protected throughout a long and seemingly fulfilling life. In spite of appearances, he never forgot Lila, his true love, the woman fate would not allow him to marry. Sparks ignited the moment they met, at a tea party in 1947, while protesters outside decried the presence of the British military on Jerusalem’s streets. During this initial conversation both are breathless, rapt, enthralled. Lila neatly sums up the problems facing her beloved city—and consequently her future with Elias: “These people are nicely dressed, and they stand here clinking glasses, but the city is torn apart and suffering.” And from this inauspicious beginning their relationship faces metaphorical obstacles of politics, faith, family, culture, and war, and the literal obstacle of a stone wall constructed between them. Elias tells the tale of this time, as well as the years that followed, with ferocious intensity, propelled by the relief it gives him to finally reveal the contents of his heart.
For me Don Quixote’s perpetual devotion to Dulcinea is far sweeter than any happily ever after. The passion expressed in About the Night is as intoxicating, the love between Elias and Lila as unforgettable. Steeping myself in such an epic love story reminded me that whatever the odds, true love is always remarkable.
- Gabriella Page-Fort, Editor