Naomi has run her kindergarten for almost 25 years in an old Tel Aviv neighborhood near the sea—an island of tranquility among the shiny new high-rises. And there, she heaps love on the children and teaches them to be creative, to appreciate beauty and love nature. But this routine is disrupted when an architect buys the land on which the kindergarten stands and tells Naomi to vacate it immediately—he is going to tear it down and build a luxury complex for the rich and famous.
In the dramatic year that follows, Naomi wages a desperate struggle for her world and beliefs. In her personal life, too, there are rifts and tensions as she gets closer to her artist son, an introverted young man who had grown away from her. Now he surprisingly shows an interest in the kindergarten, winning the children’s affection and even discovering love.
is the story of an ordinary woman, neither sophisticated nor cunning, who is persecuted but refuses to break or give in. A touching novel about an unforgettable heroine with a sense of humor, whose fight for simplicity faces off with trendy commercialism and ostentation.
PARTIAL ENGLISH TRANSLATION IN PROGRESS (for publishers only).
Sarid is a highly skilled writer who is able to spin a tale at the right tempo and to enmesh the reader, even with a minor and modest plot. His style is lucid and intelligent, and Naomi’s aging process is depicted in a manner that touches our hearts … Written with sensitivity… Sarid makes some bold moves in this book, moves that are worthy of admiration, such as writing in the feminine gender and choosing to focus on the austere world of a kindergarten teacher.
A finely-tuned little book that reaches into your heart and is in no rush to leave… Naomi is a… small, marvelous Don Quixote… She’ll captivate you and make you fall in love with her in a thousand ways.
Sarid is very gifted at documenting Israel’s social groups and subcultures. I was riveted by his book.
Sarid’s book is full of detail and feeling, and combines a struggle against hardship and solitude with a flowing adventure story... Talented writing that maintains interest and excitement.