A woman of 42 falls in love with a street musician. Will their affair destroy her marriage and the stability of her life? Mira Magen`s heroine has too much to lose. This is a woman with a full life who knows how to distinguish between the permanent and solid, which is worth living for, and the momentary thrill, which is transient and fleeting.
In this elegant novel told with empathy, Magen recounts not only a love story, but a family story as well, rich in characters whose unique, individual identities she succeeds remarkably well in describing. Moriah, the narrator-heroine, grows up in a religious home with four sisters and a brother, but only the oldest sister remains faithful to the religious world, taking upon herself the burden of raising a large
family. The youngest sister, on the other hand, becomes a Tel Aviv bohemian, so striking that no man can take his eyes off her when she passes on the street. Moriah, who is closest to her brother Muli, a gynecologist, and to her single sister, Naomi, who works in a drugstore, has a successful marriage. Her husband, Yuval, a circumspect, understanding and loving man, owns a bookstore, and they have a son and a daughter. Moriah owns a small real-estate agency, and she maneuvers her way through the Jerusalem streets in her Mazda from her house to her office to the retirement home where her elderly father resides. One day, she stops on Ben Yehuda Street in front of a saxophone player, a new immigrant from Russia, and listens to his playing. This accidental meeting leads to a love affair. Moriah becomes pregnant and decides to have an abortion and break up with her lover. At the same time, a window opens up to her sister Naomi, who finds a mate. The void created in Moriah`s life as a result of the abortion will perhaps be
filled by Shimon, a neglected child of the city in need of a family and a mother image.
This is a novel that haunts readers for many days.
Mira Magen is an excellent writer and I love her writing. She is one of the few who manage to prove that popularity and quality are not mutually exclusive.
Magen manages to capture the elusive, secret feeling of people who have left God but still feel as though God had left them… the fractures where once there was complete faith.
Iton Tel Aviv
Partial English translation available (for publishers only)