After her father Na’im's death, Ella finds a bundle of letters that he started writing to her on the day she was born-he was afraid he might die before he could establish a relationship with her or tell her his story. Na’im`s family, from Iraq, settled in Jerusalem, and his letters tell the story of his life: from his childhood in the shadow of a harsh father, through membership in the Black Panthers, to reserve duty in the Second Lebanon War. But Forever Flora is also the story of two Floras: One is Na’im`s sister, the other his daughter who later changed her name. The framework story centers on Flora/Ella, who never knew the aunt she was named after. Yet most of the letters and stories Na’im leaves her are in fact a homage to his older sister-activist, dreamer and fighter as well as mother figure and mentor to him. Complex relationships between the generations as well as between siblings are the subject of this novel, against the backdrop of Israeli life, with its conflicts, its ethnic groups, its languages and the many components of its identity. The whole fascinatingly viewed from the vantage point of the future - the year 2040.
Forever Flora engraves in the reader`s mind not only the brave figures of Flora and Na’im, but also responsibility, compassion, solidarity, mutual assistance.
An interesting, moving, invigorating novel... important and powerful.
Accessible, funny, readable. Elbashan`s first novel is an excellent, down-to earth novel that is undeterred by sacred cows and No Entry signs.
A fascinating novel. I was moved to tears.