Sadness is a White Bird by Moriel Rothman-Zecher is a novel examining the Israel/Palestine issue from both sides. This is Ms. Rothman-Zecher’s debut novel.
- 288 pages
- Publisher: Atria Books
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1501176269
Sadness is a White Bird by Moriel Rothman-Zecher tries to tackle the Israel/Palestine relationship from different perspective presenting the reader various shades of gray. The title of the book is taken from a line writing by Mahmoud Darwish, a Palestinian poet, “Sadness is a white bird that does not come near a battlefield.”
The book is styled as letters Jonathan writes Laith, his Palestinian friends, from an Israeli Army jail. In it Jonathan explores his Jewish identity, the statehood of both Israel and Palestine and the views of his friends which contradict his own.
The author goes to great length to be centered, showing why both sides might be right, but also might be wrong. The narrative is lyrical, aimed at the young-adult crowd, but still intelligent and exploratory.
The only thing I found strange is Jonathan’s bi-sexuality and the somewhat descriptive acts he performs with several people. That whole storyline bothered me, maybe it was to show what a confused young man he is, but I think there should be a better way to do so in, what otherwise is, a very elegant book.
The ending was somewhat vague, as is the whole situation, and frankly the whole book (which I believe is done on purpose). Jonathan might or might not have slipped into madness, or he was just acting out as young men who put themselves in impossible and stressful situations sometimes do.
Jonathan is an American Jew who decided to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), only to find himself in jail. Jonathan is friends with two Palestinians, Nimreen and Laith, a brother and sister, he met while living in the United States.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free.
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