- File Size: 1595 KB
- Print Length: 241 pages
- Publisher: Route 60 Press (August 22, 2017)
- Publication Date: August 22, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0752QTCBQ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,008,025 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$13.99|
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Underskin Kindle Edition
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An Israeli architect by the name of Nilly meets a thirty-something German peace activist by the name of Sebastian on a Tel Aviv beach. Nilly is attracted physically to her new German acquaintance, but baggage from the past threatens to prevent the couple from forming a serious relationship.
Nilly’s grandparents are Holocaust survivors. “The Holocaust never seems to escape me, even though I wish it would sometimes,” she thinks. “It’s just there. Always.” To discuss the Holocaust—what Nilly calls the ‘H’ word—with her German friend does not seem to be the politically correct thing to do.
Even today, many Jews avoid trips to Germany. Nilly asks her mother, “Don’t you think we can lift the ban on German products? I mean, a lot of time has passed. It’s a new generation. Israel and Germany are celebrating the jubilee of diplomatic relations.”
Her mother replies, “Never! Not after what those animals did to Saba and Safta, the Jewish people, the world. Let them and their children pay for decades to come, if not forever.”
But then, Nilly asks the novel’s most important question. “Can we blame the people who weren’t born when the Holocaust happened?” If it’s not possible to forgive the Nazis, Nilly wonders, can we at least make peace with their descendants?
Nilly sees Sebastian not as “a German, a leftist, a non-Jew—the grandson of maybe-Nazis” but rather as “an intriguing idealistic man who’s trying, in his own way, to make the world a better place.”
-Does that mean that Nilly and Sebastian can continue to see each other? Does love conquer all?
This novel makes the reader wonder how, and where, we should memorialize the Holocaust. Is it okay to joke about the Holocaust when there are Holocaust ghosts all around? Will the fear of another Holocaust always be part of the Jewish DNA?
Israeli readers may find Nilly a bit too ‘preachy’ as she expounds her rightist politics. But the protagonist’s detailed explanations of life in Israel will open the eyes of left-wing German readers for whom the ‘occupation’ and ‘illegal settlements’ are the root cause of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Underskin may come across to some as little more than an erotic romp in the hay, but its provocative discussion of a serious subject gives readers plenty of food for thought.
This book has it all: politics, religion, history and culture, all wrapped up in an entertaining love story about two people, trying to figure things out.
Honestly, the erotica is not my cup of tea, especially the type of sex in certain scenes, although the context is not lost on me. Also, this is what will draw many who otherwise would never read something like this, and they might learn something in the process. In that case, I'm all for it. This is exactly the method I use in my own writing, the mixing of entertainment with real issues, either religious or political or both.
As a half-and-half myself, that is, German and Jewish, this book was powerful for me. It dredged up a lot of emotions from my own inner-conflict, my family of Semites and anti-Semites. That's not meant to be a stereotype because of course, there are people from all walks of life, biases, sensitivities, hatreds and loves in every ethnic group. However, from a personal standpoint, this book really hit home. I have relatives who escaped Russian pogroms as well as relatives who lived in Germany during Hitler's time. The Holocaust was a constant theme in my household. As such, I feel very connected to this story of the Israeli Nilly, the German Sebastian, and their evolution.
Funny in parts, sexy, but above all, intelligent. Highly recommend.
Nilly is a 31 year old architect, not really happy where she is in her life, when she meets Sebastian a
German peace activist/ musician on the Tel Aviv beach. They are both attracted to each other, but have a lot of cultural history separating them, plus he is only a visitor. She becomes his tour guide and he invites her to visit Berlin, which she does. Does a romance between a "settler"woman, granddaughter of Holocaust survivors and Iraqi refugees and a "traditional" Jew with a German peace activist goy have a future? Should it? You will have to read the book to find out.
The author is gifted and weaves an interesting story, blending history, politics, and the difficulty of finding a mate in this generation. She also does a wonderful job of describing the settings, for those readers who have never been to Israel or Germany. In addition, the characters are developed in great depth. And some steamy sex added for those readers who like that. A book definitely worth reading.
Top international reviews
Skilfully told through the eyes of an inquisitive and sexually charged Israeli single and attractive female, Nilly, the author deals with the issues within the context of Nilly's desires for a relationship with the perfectly "Aryan" Sebastian.
Both characters bare body and soul as they face demons, history and the modern challenges of Germany's relationship with the State of Israel, which emerged after the Holocaust, and where never-ending guilt may have to give way to a new era.
Orit Arfa never shies away from controversial subjects and views. She does credit to all the emotive issues, providing historical background where necessary without detracting from the underlying romantic plot. She masterfully weaves in more than ample erotica to add a further dimension to a very readable, enjoyable and thought provoking story.
Moreover, Orit never disappoints with the depth of her characters. The twists and turns of their interaction and relationship, all taking place between locations In Tel Aviv, Berlin and Jerusalem, is addictive in and of itself. She successfully brings it all together whilst retaining her ability to surprise and shock.
She is a fabulous storyteller, who uses her considerable talents to teach, inspire, surprise and arouse
Man bekommt mit dem Kauf dieses Werks nicht nur einen Reiseführer Tel Avivs mit Empfehlungen für Restaurants und Diskos sondern auch ein Geschichts- und Politikbuch, der einem einen Einblick in so gut wie alle Aspekte des israelischen Alltags gewährt und auch wer sich Null für Politik interessiert, aber den Film 9½ Wochen liebt, der sollte "Underskin" erst recht lesen ;)
Der Leser verweilt allerdings nicht nur in Israel, sondern es geht nach Berlin und hier auf den Weihnachtsmarkt, nach Dresden und andere Orte der Gegenwart und Vergangenheit und damit man nicht glaubt, dass hier "der Deutsche" in Form von Sebastian nur als verkappter Antisemit, der seinen Judenhass als Israelkritik tarnt, der wird eines Besseren belehrt, denn es gibt nicht nur ein Happy End im Buch.
Viel Spaß bei der Lektüre
I never read a book that has so much entertainment and facts between the first and last chapter.
This book is truly unique and belongs into every house.