A love story that spans over a lifetime. It is a tale of hopes and dreams, of belief and perceptions. When Elias and Lila first meet and fall deeply in love and because of circumstance and location (it's everything in this story) their lives don't' fall into the realms of expected outcomes, in ways that we can sometimes anticipate a love will go. This love story leaves you wishing it could've been very different for them.
At first encounter it's clear that the 2 tribes ( Elias an Arab and Lila a Jew) cannot blend as one, especially in the throes of conflict and war. For Elias, it's as if his life had been mapped out for him long before he knew what was about to befall him. The rich custom and tradition of his family upholds him to these expectations, but because he never expects to see Lila again (you need to read the story to see why he thinks this) he weds another woman that he has no heart or soul for and fathers 3 children with her.
Lila promised herself that she would wait for him until the conflicts and wars in their regions cease, and until (she hopes) those walls come down between the 2 tribes in which sharing a place and a time together is of no consequence. While she waits and goes about her business, and while with every core of her being she loves him, she later discovers that he married another woman and had children with her. This discovery devastated her and because she doesn't want to be the 'other' woman, she tries hard to evade ever crossing paths with Elias. But, life has a way of making sure that in one way or another there is a resolve to any situation, and the outcome and end of this story begs for it to be different.
There is always going to be a like and a dislike to any book I've read and this book has it too.
What I liked about this book is that Anat Talshir effortlessly sets the scene of time and place. Reading this book is like watching the story unfold on your television set or even at a theatre. It's dreamy, it's colourful and it's emotive, and without too much effort she manages to depict the personality and characters clearly.
What I didn't like about this book was that it was too heavily detailed in the areas that the reader is already expected to know, or is assumed to know. It's without question that Elias and Lila love each other, that they fell 'deeply in love' with each other, but is it really necessary to repeated this over and over throughout the book? I got tired of reading about how much they loved each other and how they each thought about each other, about how they missed each other, about how each felt to the other etc., day in day out, on and on. Play repeat again. I already know this about Elias and Lila from reading about it from the start of the book. I don't need the constant reminders throughout it, in my opinion, and for this I gave this book a 3 star rating.
This excellent book is the story of two people who loved each other secretly over many years. They come from different religious groups and live on opposite sides of war torn Israel. The decisions they each make are tough. Love or family expectations? Which do you put first? Who is affected by the relationship? I cried for both of them. The descriptions, characterisation and insight into human hearts talked straight to me. I loved it.
This well written novel about an Arab and a Jew captivates from beginning to end. It is not judgemental and is really quite sad. I found it difficult to put down and I don't usually read this type of book.