Sheri, the wife of a fugitive criminal, is wondering if she should go to the police station and turn him over, to protect her adolescent daughters. Miri’s husband has fallen in love with a man and is leaving her, and she is preparing her kids for a portentous meeting where their father will reveal his secret. Sharon comes back to her parents’ home from New York, after years of estrangement, to attend the funeral of her brother. Shuli, suffering from terminal muscular dystrophy, takes leave of her family and the house she has lived in all her life. Mali has worked her heart out for her boss and just when she thinks he is trying to make a pass at her, he unexpectedly tells her that she’s fired. Leah wakes up in the hospital after being wounded in a terrorist attack, and although her husband and daughter were not harmed, she is appalled to discover that she has lost her right hand.
What do all of these women, who tell their stories in this novel, have in common? They all share once-in-a-lifetime situations that have shaped their destinies; they all do it with heart-breaking honesty, concealing nothing; and at the decisive moments of their lives, they all meet the mysterious hero of the novel, Neta Harlev, a sensitive young man who is in the throes of a mental crisis but still projects physical power. Through the stories of the women, the character of Neta is gradually uncovered and his secrets and passions are revealed. He is a man both material and spiritual, a man of death and life, and of destruction and creation. He will find redemption for his soul by means of art – sculpture in iron – and through meeting a beloved woman, also an artist, a kindred soul.
Saving Neta is a novel that describes unanticipated, life-changing moments and encounters. It touches upon the raw material of existence and observes how it becomes life, and how matter becomes a work of art.
ENGLISH TRANSLATION AVAILABLE (for publishers only).
A remarkable text … delicate, sensitive prose.
Ran Bin-Nun, Yedioth Ahronoth
Bar-Gil’s talent is expressed in idyllic descriptions of human work, a talent that was perceptible in his earlier works as well. Here, his skill finds expression in a joyful and therefore enjoyable fusion of plastic art … The monologues are written with delicacy and sensitivity. With the empathy that they display toward the various female characters, they add up to a way of looking at the world that may be called instinctive humanism.
Arik Glasner, Maariv
Bar-Gil manages to avoid melodramatics, his analyses are sensitive and have a richness of description.
Efrat Esquira, Haaretz