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To the End of the Land

by David Grossman

An Israeli mother believes the only way to keep her soldier son alive is not to be around to hear the news of his death. The Arab/Israeli conflict always makes for compelling reading, but this extremely long novel is so packed with domestic detail that the overarching tension is sometimes lost. Some horrific descriptions of war contrast with the beauty of the Galilean countryside. A thought provoking read.

Extract

The air filled again with the thundering metallic voices and military music. I'm dreaming, Ora mumbled, it's just a dream. She covered her ears and the voice that spoke Hebrew in a thick Arab accent echoed inside her head, orating about the glorious Syrian army's tanks that were trampling the Zionist Galilee and the criminal Zionist kibbutzim, and they were on their way to to liberate Haifi and obliterate the shame of the '48 expulsion. Ora knew she had to escape, to save herself, but she could not find the strength.
Translated by Jessica Cohen

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