This book contains a novella and three short stories. The novella “Silent Love” is a love story between two young people of different backgrounds who share a deep love for Eretz Israel.
At the turn of the last century, Mr. Pays-Bas, an English Jew, travels to Palestine, then under Turkish rule, to search for his nephew Gideon who emigrated years before and has not been heard of since. Mr Pays-Bas visits many places and meets many different people - Jews, Arabs, Turks. Orgad masterfully conveys the atmosphere of both time and place, contrasting the scenes with the present day.
Gideon is not found, but when Mr. Pays-Bas returns to England, he brings back with him a silent 16-year-old, David. An orphan, David was found in a Christian mission, and Mr. Pays-Bas was asked to take him to England. Despite David`s silence, he and the youngest daughter Ruth feel an immediate affinity, and when he finally begins to talk and decides to go to a yeshiva, she is heartbroken. He spends a year in the yeshiva, atoning for a sin he feels he has committed, and when he returns they become engaged and later move to Palestine. The rest of the family follows.
“Pomegranate Juice” and “Vera and Michael” are stories about new immigrants who find their new surroundings strange and unfriendly. Although these stories take place in the past (“Pomegranate Juice” in the 1950s, “Vera and Michael” during the British Mandate) they still speak to us today.
“The Fast of the Seventeenth of Tammuz” describes an elderly immigrant whom the children ridicule, but later they become enthralled with his stories.