Top critical review
9 people found this helpful
on May 28, 2016
This was challenge for me to review.
From the first, I could see that this is not my usual read, but it quickly grew on me. A story of Tamsin, Ellie, Arun & Charlie; four individuals, who cross paths in their lives. All of them the same in so many ways, but with their profound differences as well.
The time & place seems to be a fictional representation of the Six-Day War that erupted over the ancient lands of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and Golan Heights. The stresses and conflicts of the characters in the book had me want to know more, as I found online:[...]
The book is broken up into 12 chapters: the first four covering the childhoold of our key characters; the second four their adolescence; the final four their adulthood.
I found the story of economic and social hardship a compelling one, particularly in the first chapters of the book. It was a story of: land owners displaced; refugees unwanted; authoritarion police, with checkpoints, blockades, and wanton violence; rebels of the new regime; and the wealthy new occupiers.
From the beginning one thing, that built up and grated like white noise in the background, was an ongoing reference to economic growth and chain stores and a change to the economic landscape. But I could see that, in this, the author had a purpose, and so I carried on.
The difficulty I had with the book, was that the writing and the story were so well done and believable, but only in the first eight chapters. And for me the book went downhill from there. The first eight chapters alone would have made this a 5 star book, had the structure and story felt the same to the end.
I felt that this was a book that conveyed an important message; a message about an ambiguous joining of different peoples - a non-melting-pot if you will, each group thinking their own way is the only way.
Unfortunately, the last four chapters simply bring more noise, and simply change the whole flavor of the book for me. The book walked me from the compelling, beautiful, and believable; to an un-real fiction in the end.
Thanks to the author and Goodreads for the opportunity to provide this unbiased review.