There are mistakes we pay for and regret for the rest of our lives. What`s been done can`t be undone, but at least it teaches us an important lesson. The protagonist of this book tells us about a terrible mistake that led to the loss of her best friend, but her story makes us identify and empathize with her.
Hadas, a young girl, lives in a small moshav, an agricultural village. Her farmer parents love village life and look down on luxury and city life. Hadas admires her parents, but when she meets Aline she discovers a different and tempting new world. Aline and her parents have come from Paris to make their home on the moshav. Albert, Aline`s handsome father, is a veterinary surgeon, and Martine, her beautifully groomed mother, teaches the secrets of French cuisine to the moshav women. At first, the children make fun of Aline because she`s foreign and has French manners, but they quickly come to like her and the girls especially seek her company. It is Hadas, however, who becomes her best friend, even though she doesn`t play up to her, and one day Aline invites her to sleep over at her house. Aline’s beautiful home is completely different from Hadas’s spartan house. She envies her friend, and when Albert comes to kiss Aline goodnight, Hadas longs for him to kiss her too. But Albert leaves and Hadas, full of confused emotions, goes back home and tells her parents that Aline’s father kissed her on the lips. From there on, the situation snowballs: Hadas`s shocked parents go to the moshav committee, which sides with them and tells Albert that he must leave the moshav. As the moshav members harass them, the French family`s life becomes hell, while Hadas shuts herself up at home, frightened and crying but unable to admit that the whole story was a lie. It is only when she faints and Albert helps her that she breaks down and tells the truth. But it is too late, because Aline`s family have already decided to leave the moshav. Although the kindhearted Aline forgives her friend, Hadas will never be able to forgive herself.
Illustrations: Orna Eizenberg