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Thirteen-year-old Fyorela is the daughter of immigrants from North Africa who have settled in a small neighborhood in Tel Aviv. It is 1948: Fyorela is turning from a child into a woman; it is also the year when the British leave Palestine and the State of Israel is established. But her parents have not yet put down roots in their new homeland and they cling to the customs, the language and culture of the country they have left behind. Fyorela is torn between the two worlds. Her home and family are epitomized by her wise and beloved grandmother, who is full of stories but is pained at the loss of her life in North Africa and her language, Arabic. The new Israel is represented by the children, school and the Hebrew language. The gifted Fyorela, an avid reader and excellent student, has to suffer the condescension, racism and teasing of her classmates. But all this does not break her spirit: despite the humiliation and her feelings of otherness and loneliness, she is determined to put down roots, look forward and try new experiences. Towards the end of the year, Fyorela will at last find a friend, an outsider like herself, who is daring, high-spirited and uninhibited; she will also fall in love with a boy, a native Israeli, and discover sexuality, and the delight of writing stories.

Fyorela, whose family still see her as their “spoiled little chick,” leaves behind her childhood and the difficulty of fitting in. Brimming with self-confidence, she is determined to set out on an independent path.

Title Fyorela
Writer's Last Name Mashiach
Writer's First Name Anat
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Am Oved
No. Pages 292pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Fyorela
  • “In the best sensitive parts of the novel, Mashiach skillfully captures, in a poetic style, the story that is familiar to most of the members of the second and third generations of Israelis from Arab lands – the gap that gradually opens up between the children “from here” and the parents “from there.””

    Vered Lee, Haaretz
  • “One of the loveliest books I’ve read recently … There’s one deep reason for my liking this book: the way in which Anat Mashiach writes, creates and presents so much human warmth that I could almost touch it rising out of the pages … Hurry to Read Fyorela. ”

    Sarit Flain, Literary blog
  • “An outstanding, complex coming of age novel … The life of a family that immigrated from Libya and its customs are vividly and picturesquely depicted … My warm recommendation for this original, interesting, moving and successful novel, written in effortless and very restrained language.”

    Orna Lieberman, E-mago
  • “Mashiach writes forcefully and gently, ostentatiously and gracefully… A captivating character and motifs that make one smile.”