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Customer Review

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A coming-of-age novel, both smart and kind., July 2, 2005
This review is from: Davita's Harp (Paperback)
Davita's Harp blends historical fiction, politics, religion and issues of immigration & identity together with the story of a young girl coming of age. The result is an agreeable and very readable novel.

Davita is surrounded by people who are unable in one way or another to negotiate compromise. The communist beliefs of her parents, the extremely divergent religious views of her extended family, her environment at school-- none of her potential role models offer her a strong basis for building her own identity. Eventually, however, Davita does begin to choose a road for her life and she does it with her own unique flavor and on her own terms. Her story is lovely, and very inspiring.

I would recommend this book highly as a gift for high school students, particularly girls. Davita makes a wonderful role model and it should be meaningful to young people struggling with issues of religion and identity-- any religion. One of the key messages of Davita's Harp is that it is possible to choose for a religion and community without sacrificing your other beliefs. It is unique in that it shows religion both as a steadying force and as an evolving imperfect system. I can certainly think back to a time in my life when it would have been very helpful to see a way forward that was more than the choice between inside and out.

Additionally, the period prior to World War II is a largely forgotten moment in time. The view on post-depression labor relations, the Spanish Civil War, and the treatment of the so-called premature antifascists makes for fascinating reading.
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Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Top Reviewer Ranking: 72,538