In the novella entitled Hebrew Love, a well-known author is asked to give a lecture on her childhood in the wake of the Holocaust. And into her depressing memories she weaves an invented story-that of Daffy, a girl with a happy childhood. While the narrator`s early years were spent in dismal immigrant housing in Israel with closed-off parents who cannot escape their memories, Daffy grew up in upscale Tel Aviv and Paris with ballet lessons and fragrant French bread. But even the fictional Daffy is eventually affected by her creator`s own past. Her parents divorce, she goes through a crisis, and the problematic woman she becomes can be seen in her attitude towards love and family. Other interesting women surround her: Daffy`s mother, the women in the narrator`s family, and particularly her beloved Aunt Dora, who disappeared to America. In the novella Girls, three women ponder the pros and cons of modern love. Here too, the past is very much alive in the present as the author explores how relationships experienced at home affect the heroines` future. The story, Buildings, offers a different take: against the backdrop of her own crumbling marriage and a failed affair with a married man, the heroine travels around the world, photographing mausoleums built by men to celebrate their "eternal" love for a woman. Long or short, all the stories in this collection are filled with understanding and humor.
Hebrew Love was short-listed for the prestigious Sapir Prize in 2007.
The intensity and joy in these stories' narration, their elegant and light lead, their authenticity and the narrator`s ironic voice... make this book a definitely pleasurable reading experience.
It has been a long time since I enjoyed a new Israeli work of fiction so much... Shoshi Breiner succeeds in creating her own voice... She goes her own way so intelligently that what might become banal becomes very wise.
Breiner's book is a small, glittering, heartwarming gem.
Partial English translation available (for publishers only)