It is summer 2006, and the Second Lebanon War is underway. Liora Kerem, a retired teacher who lives by herself, attempts to assassinate the Israeli army’s Chief of Staff, but fails. She is confined to a mental institution where Dr. Yirmi Bloch, a police psychiatrist, has a series of sessions with her to try and fathom the reasons for her extreme act. Did she really mean to kill the Chief of Staff, or merely to attract attention? Was she driven by ideology or were her reasons personal?
Some 40 years earlier, during the Six Day War, Liora’s husband Miki was shot in the head. After being in a coma for several weeks, he regained consciousness, but was no longer the man that Liora had married. His body had healed but instead of the confident, life-loving, womanizing kibbutznik, the man who returned to her was a cringing weakling without sex drive, who admitted that he had lost his masculinity. Was Liora seeking revenge through the man who symbolized what had ruined her life? In tracing her motives, the novel examines, through a woman’s eyes, the masculine virtues that are glorified in Israeli society, the heroism and the militarism which casts its shadow over the country.
The plot shifts between two eras, two wars, and contrasts Israel drunk on victory in 1967 with the country humiliated in 2006, which woke up too late from its euphoria.
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Schiff tackles an important subject…[with] intriguing and sympathetic characters...An interesting writer.
Clever, funny, sad… presents complex situations in a fresh way… Schiff’s novel is attractive and challenging…at times brilliant.
Likely to challenge people on both sides of the political barricade.