Eyal Megged's epic novel spans a dramatic thirty-year period in Eretz Israel, starting with the British Mandate in the 1930s. Pre-state Israel springs to life; sights and sounds of the infant city of Tel Aviv, budding rural settlements and struggling farms, pioneers, Arabs, farmers and foreigners. Stormy historical events seem to reflect the turbulent soul of the troubled protagonist. Solomon is obsessed with his wife and is insanely jealous. Yet he does not hesitate to cheat on and abuse her.
Solomon has his dreams, but they are doomed. He is a misfit in his new land, so he seeks consolation in fantasies about his Mongolian roots. He ostensibly believes in redemption through love, but is unable to let himself love. He arrived in Palestine a wealthy man but then lost all his money and is struggling to survive. Is this why he has regular meetings with Russian representatives during the British Mandate? All the evidence seems to indicate that he is a Russian spy. Could he be a traitor?
Megged's impressive lyrical style combines with rare human insight to create a troubling yet moving novel about the unfulfilled dreams of a complex and contemporary man.
An exciting, troubling and painful novel, full of yearning. It flows smoothly and is seasoned with many wonderful descriptions of the smells and tastes of ‘little Tel Aviv.’ The novel brims with beautiful erotic descriptions... A pleasure.
I recommend Megged’s book… This historical novel reads like a suspense story that is impossible to put down.
Enchanted secrets… an irritating and charming hero who is sensuous, passionate and spiritual.... Megged’s book held me captive from the first page.
Partial translation available (for publishers only)