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Psalm 119

by Heather McRobie

This is a story of young lives torn apart by the hatred and treachery that is an ongoing aspect of modern day Middle East politics. The various plots are complex as the action moves from a sleepy Oxford college to the poverty and desperation of the West Bank to metropolitan and confident Tel Aviv. Woven into the text are verses from Psalm 199 and the poetry of Rumi. A first novel that is both beautiful and original.

Extract

They fell in love and it was simple, like a fact to be learnt, because it was as though they lived in a world that wouldn't allow prefaces or lengthy introductions any more. Love had to be the start of the story, gotten over with quickly. And people couldn't fall in love at length here - nothing could happen here, slowly, under stark lights: conversations about war, terrorism, conversations about love - that didn't sound like mockery or like a Footlights sketch. Even the people who did really fall in love here knew that, even the people here who were dragged into real wars and real terror knew that - and Marie seemed to almost love the fact itself.

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