Monthly Archives: October 2015

The Inbetween People

How does one cope when a mother picks up, without warning and abandons the family, setting off for another country to live with a man other than your father? How does a child of four handle the death of his mother, from childbirth, within the environment of conflicts in Israel?

The Inbetween People, by Emma McEvoy, is a novel that quite brilliantly depicts two individuals who become friends. Ari Goldberg is Jewish. Saleem is an Israeli Arab. The two meet and through the years we read about their struggles to maintain their lives within the constant struggles that are ongoing between the Jews and the Arabs.

Much of the book deals with the issues of the loss of their mothers. Ari’s mother and her abandonment of the family takes its toll in every facet of his life. He tries to extinguish his feelings and his thoughts on her, but they resurface to haunt him.

The same is true of Saleem, and how the loss of his mother affected him and the rest of his family. How the loss of his grandmother’s house affected how the family managed to survive the indecency of it.

I thought The Inbetween People had a lot to offer in regards to family dynamics, especially how loss defines a person. The characters tried to bury their losses, tried to hide their memories from themselves, to no avail.

Ari begins to write from a prison cell, and he writes of the loss of his mother. Saleem joins the Israeli army, as an Arab, hoping to help the conflicts occurring.

Can we bury the past? When familial, emotional trauma constantly fills us, mentally, physically and emotionally, we can become like people in limbo, in between the past and the present. The connections are intertwined. Through McEvoy’s beautiful prose, almost poetic prose and word imagery, we are given a lot to ponder in that respect.

The novel is a sad one, poignant, and a reminder of the human condition. The story is a metaphor for love, loss and redemption, within a framework of an ongoing social situation.

It did have a strong message, within the short framework. Emma McEvoy’s prose is filled with loveliness, and a feeling of melancholy illuminates the pages. I found The Inbetween People to be an excellent read regarding the emotional issues surrounding motherly loss and regarding the issues of conflict within a country’s changing attitudes and ideals. Emma McEvoy encompassed those issues well.

This was my second reading of this novel, as I read it recently for a book club.

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Filed under historical fiction, middle east fiction

Book News-October 13, 2015

I have a few book-news related items to post about. Please read on, check out the links, and enjoy what you find!

Here they are in no particular order:

Congratulations to Marlon James for winning the Man Booker Prize!

The Sea Beach Line, by Ben Nadler, has finally been published!

Moment Magazine is accepting applications for its Short Fiction Contest.

Thirteen Ways of Looking, by Colum McCann, is out!

Read about Jewish Book Council’s “Raid the Shelves“!

Rachel Kushner has a thought-provoking interview/article-read it here.

One of my favorite quotes: A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. -Chinese Proverb

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Filed under Book Diva News, General, Literature/Fiction

Book Diva News-Svetlana Alexievich

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 was awarded to Svetlana Alexievich “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time“.

The Wall Street Journal wrote about her award, and wrote some less-known and compelling facts about Svetlana Alexievich.

I, personally, can’t wait to get my hands on her book, “War’s Unwomanly Face”, although from what I gather through many sources, it is out of print.

Brava to her!

To read more about her, visit this link.

Here is a compelling commentary on her award and her work.
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Filed under Authors, Blogrolls, Book Diva News, General, Non-Fiction