The three novellas in this book share a common theme, all illustrating with a rare astuteness slices of the Israeli experience. Each plot also highlights a complex and encumbered relationship that develops between two clashing souls. Liebrecht examines the positive and also destructive results of the arrival of an outside woman into a typical Israeli family.
In the first novella, Talma, a lawyer, orders a woman Filipino to care for her father after an operation. The caretaker, whose integrity is doubtful to begin with, takes over the household, wins the father’s heart and runs the mother out of the house. Talma is left to arbitrate between the two sides while re-examining her relationship with her father and her chilly relationship with her mother.
In the second novella, Shulamit, a bereaved mother whose son was killed by Arabs and who works as a midwife, discovers that an Irish kibbutz volunteer is carrying her dead son’s child. Shulamit’s all encompassing grief causes her to cut herself off from her Arab friends and she is forced to face the fact that life did not come to a halt when her son was killed.
In the third novella, Paula, an elderly Holocaust survivor, becomes addicted to soap operas. Valentina, a Polish girl hired to care for her, arouses long dormant memories in the elderly woman: pleasant childhood memories and the horrific nightmares of the Holocaust. The tie between the two leads to their mutual demise. Here, as in the other novellas in the volume, the foreigner is the catalyst for the riveting emotional process the local character undergoes.
These complex subjects are broached with discretion and tact… there is not a single offensive or vulgar description.
Exudes the warmth and precision that Liebrecht’s readers are accustomed to.
Savyon Liebrecht is a feminine woman who writes about women. One finds in her refinement, mercy, and softness, and she gives them to her protagonists when she shapes them out of thin air, with loving movements like a women kneading bread... The stories flow, sweeping before one’s eyes, touching our hearts, and moving us.
English translation in progress (for publishers only)