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Maybe They Were Not

Leah and Mickey came to Tel Aviv in 1934 from a small town in Eastern Europe, a young couple aspiring to begin a new life in the Land of Israel. Mickey, an idealist who worked as a journalist in Europe and wants to write a novel, tries to work in agriculture or construction, but then finds his way into the budding Hebrew newspaper industry. Sensible Leah, who knows how to improvise, earns a living any way she can in order to fulfil her petit bourgeois dream of a small apartment, a family and a way of life spiced by Central European manners. She gives birth to their daughter Shoshana, but is torn by her nostalgia for the extended family she left behind and the landscapes of her former home.

Maybe They Were Not is first and foremost the love story of Leah and Mickey, as they go through the crises of immigration and integration, and the upheavals of history – World War II and the Holocaust. But the novel is also an expression of love for Tel Aviv, the first Hebrew city. Tel Aviv in the 1930s and 40s was a lively Mediterranean city with cafes, dance clubs, cabarets and theaters, as well as being a haven for the destitute refugees that streamed in from Europe. Although it was bombed during the war, and the news from Europe cast its shadow, its vibrant spirit was never quenched. The people who made Tel Aviv what it is are no longer with us, but their spirit pervades it to this day.

Title Maybe They Were Not
Writer's Last Name Lapid
Writer's First Name Shulamit
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Keter
No. Pages 205pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ve-Ulai Lo Hayu
  • “ Shulamit Lapid is a superb designer of the specific historical period, with its sensitive existential shades. She sweeps the reader into her world.”

  • “ A living, breathing historical novel by one of the most exciting documenters of the period.”

    Yedioth Ahronoth
  • “ A book that will move you ...Lapid has an amazing ability to weave a tale.”