Blog reader, Betsy S. recently recommended To The End of the Land by prominent Israeli author, David Grossman. I wanted to share her comments as it's such a timely topic. Released in 2010, this novel was started three years before his son, Uri's death in a Mid-East conflict. Reviewers agreed To the End of the Land is a compelling and profound read.
"I could not put this book down. The humanity of the characters, the intensity of the relationships, the backdrop of Israeli history, the poignancy of current events left me absolutely breathless..."
To the End of the Land tells the story of Ora, who leaves her home in Jerusalem to walk across Israel to Galilee, in order to avoid the "notifiers" who might arrive at any moment to inform her of the death of her son. It is the trip they had planned together to celebrate his discharge from military service. Instead, he volunteers to rejoin the army in a high-intensity offensive – "a kick-ass operation" – against the Palestinians at the start of the second intifada.
Ofer has been lost to his mother "forever from the moment he was nationalised". Her husband, Ilan, has left her, taking her other son, Adam, with him to South America, after she failed to support Ofer when he was investigated over an incident in Hebron which left a Palestinian trapped in a meat-locker for two days.
Ora is, among many other things, her son's failed conscience, a voice of caution for him and for her country which neither wishes to hear. Her love for him is limitless, but when he justifies the recourse to violence against the Palestinians, her sole focus is on saving "her child from the barbarian standing opposite her".
To Order this book on Amazon, use the Amazon Search Box in the Sidebar.