When I Lived in Modern Times Paperback – 6 Jan 2011
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About the Author
Linda Grant was born in Liverpool in 1951. She was educated in Liverpool and studied at the University of York and in Canada. Her first novel, The Cast Iron Shore, won the David Higham Award in 1996 and was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize. She is the author of a memoir - Remind Me Who I Am Again and two further novels: When I Lived in Modern Times, which won the 2000 Orange Prize for fiction, and The Clothes on Their Backs, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2008.
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Top Customer Reviews
Evelyn is in search of an identity but her adoption of Jewishness is complicated by her growing awareness that there are many kinds of Jew, and all of them are angry with the country she's just come from. When she arrives she's surprised to find that she feels more British than Jewish, but in Palestine she's surrounded by British soldiers and their wives with an innate sense of superiority and a misplaced sense of fair play wholly inappropriate to the prevailing cultural complexities.
The book begins in a deceptively lightweight sort of way and slowly gathers momentum. It's written in a simple, economical style that seems of a piece with Evelyn's personality, not literary but direct and engaging. It was good at conveying the contrast between the brash, modern city of Tel Aviv with it's white walls and straight lines, and the centuries-old instabilities inherent in a place where races and cultures mingle and refugees from the second world war are pouring in and expecting to find The Promised Land.Read more ›
The story moves from one of the original Jewish kibbutz to the brand-new city of Tel Aviv as Evelyn Sert attempts to reinvent herself as one of the new Jews. Her encounters with the English expatriates plus her involvement with the fringes of the Irgun and Haganah resistance movements are a complicated mixture of changing personal attitudes and an uncertainty as to where her future really lies.
The wheel goes a full circle and, many years later, her final visit to Tel Aviv underlines her original uncertainty over her role in the creation of Eretz Israel - and her near-disillusionment over what has actually been created.
I kept on with it as it provided an interesting historical perspective into the birth of the modern Israel and I like to learn about things that are new to me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting story as I knew very little about Israel/Palestine. Not impressed with the writing however.Published 22 months ago by megan cahill
She's a very good story teller, with very interesting subject matter. It's hard to put down. She writes very well.Published on 31 Aug. 2013 by James Loader
This book rang true for me, and is also very well written. Thought provoking and enjoyable, an interesting reflection on life at the time.Published on 15 Aug. 2013 by S. Powell
Very controversial novel, which I really liked as it discussed many issues which have previously been taboo subjects. Read morePublished on 10 May 2013 by Paige-Ruby Dorman