If You Awaken Love Paperback – 18 Apr 2007
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About the Author
Emuna Elon was born in Jerusalem in 1955. She is currently teaching and writing. She has published one novel, seven children’s books and many short stories. She has lived in the settlement of Beit-El since 1982, and has six children. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
But in the novel the main character, and the one whose narrative voice directs the action ,Shlomtzion Dror belongs to the opposite political camp. Her personal story of rejection in love by her childhood sweetheart removes her from the national- religious world, and makes her a strong supporter of the secular Left, the same Left that argues passionately that the land of Israel should be divided, that the historical homeland of Judea and Samaria ( The West Bank) should be for the sake of Peace part of a Palestinian Arab state. So what we have throughout the work is quite a bit of seeing the community which Elon ostensibly belongs to , the 'settler' community through the negative eyes of the narrator. But the third surprise is that the political issue and drama is background and secondary to the heart of the novel. The heart of the novel is the love - story of Shlomtzion and Ariel , his rejection of her when his Rabbis fail to give a blessing to their message. The story tells what happens to her afterwards, how she makes a new life. And it too tells of a dramatic meeting which takes place when the daughter of Shulamit becomes engaged to the son of Ariel, and his wife, Leah.
I live in Israel and had special enjoyment from reading credible descriptions of its various 'scenes' and 'situations' various worlds of nature and social reality. Elon knows the country and society well, and her story gives a strong loving sense of it. While one might feel the major complication, the marriage of her daughter and his son, as somewhat contrived this does not really diminish from the drama and enjoyment of this wonderfully rich and skillfully written novel.
I would add that the feeling of love for Israel, its people and land that pervades the Novel makes it for me especially enjoyable and inspiring.
Elon is able to show empathy both for the liberal, secularist Israelis and for the traditional, religious group. This is not a political tract but a story of love that somehow went wrong.
The reader's knowledge of the growing political storm engulfing the country after the Oslo accords only makes the book's ending more powerful.
This book raises some very interesting issues in Judaism and human psychi and how the two play out. The way Elon uses passages from the bible to support statemens and to spice out the story is breath taking.
"If you awaken love" is a tremendous bonus for any sensitive person interested in contemporary literature.