Nunia, a beautiful coming-of-age story, is the long-awaited sequel to one of Israel`s all-time favorites, bestseller Gai Oni. It recounts the story of 20-year-old Nunia, who like so many of her peers in Palestine in 1913 is already involved in serious debates over Jewish labor and the shaping of a new nation. She also experiences unexpected love with an American newcomer who has struck a cord with the stubborn, local girl. Beautiful and fearless Nunia, who grew up in the Galilee with her legendary mother Fania - the heroine of Gai Oni - is determined to find her own way in life. Unlike her parents, farmers who immigrated to Palestine in the 1880s, Nunia envies the lives of the new pioneers from Eastern Europe, young men and women who arrive with nothing but socialist ideals and a strong sense of identity. She joins the only agricultural school that is open to women and sets out to prove to herself, to her mother as well as the men surrounding them that she and her friends are equal to them in rights and skills. But she soon finds out that she belongs neither here nor there: neither with her parents` stable way of life nor with the emotional sacrifices she often sees among her friends. And all the while, Nunia harbors a secret: her sleepwalking, which haunts her throughout the story. She is unaware of what she does during these bouts and is tormented by the unexplained murder of a man she was in love with. At the end, Nunia finds the love she craves as well as a balance between her mother`s way and her own. Nunia weaves together Jewish-Israeli history, adventure and a beautiful love story. Like its predecessor Gai Oni, it sheds light on the struggles of the young women who shared the dream of creating a new Jewish state.
This graceful novel reads with ease, and gives one a sense of getting to know… life “as it was back then.” There is here the intoxication of youth…a captivating plot with mysterious affairs, suspense and romance.
Nunia opens out before the reader a breathtaking story of drives and ideas, of historical and fictional details.
English translation available (for publishers only)