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Odelia’s Black Dress

The obsessive love affair between Amir and Odelia reads like a dark suspense novel, combining eroticism with madness and death. Amir, a divorced, 35-year-old lecturer at Tel Aviv University whose specialty is the history of Italian education, meets 24-year-old Odelia, who needs his help writing a thesis on poetic cities in literature, such as Tel Aviv and Venice. Amir soon becomes her lover and then her official partner, even though, on their first evening together, he discovers that she lies. For Amir, Odelia is an enigma; he wonders where she disappears to at night and cannot tell when she is speaking the truth and when she is lying. Her deceptive dark charms and her eroticism ensnare Amir in the bonds of passion, and he is also attracted to her family pathology. Indeed, Odelia comes from a family in which madness lurks: her younger brother committed suicide; her father and older brother are addicted to bizarre collections.

Amir is not an innocent who has fallen into the trap of a nymphomaniac. He enjoys the destructive relationship with Odelia and derives sadistic pleasure from the emotional pain he inflicts on her. The answer to the question “Which one of them is mad?” is not clearcut. And the perverse relationship comes to its inevitable end. Amir succeeds in freeing himself from Odelia`s web, leaving her weak, lost and hopeless. In Venice, the city where she experienced her greatest pleasure with Amir, she drowns herself, dressed in her black dress, true to the finale of an Italian opera.

Title Odelia’s Black Dress
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Hakibbutz Hameuchad
No. Pages 203pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ha-Simla Ha-Shchora shel Odelia