Review of My Name is Musa by Patricia Rantisi ISBN 978 1 78176 088 8
This is a story about Rosa, a British secular Jew and her Gentile husband, David, who was brought up as a Christian "but not what you would call a believer". They visited friends living in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. When out for a walk they found an abandoned baby with a label attached. The writing was in Arabic and read "My name is Musa". Failing to find anyone prepared to care for the infant, they left him with Catholic nuns when they returned to Britain. Later Musa was brought to London for a heart operation and subsequently adopted by Rosa and David.
On the surface this is a story about a marriage being rescued from failure and about how the mystery of the infant's parentage is solved. At a deeper level there are questions about how a Palestinian boy with a Jewish mother fits into a multiracial school in London. As the scene moves between Britain and the West Bank, the dark background is the problem of one land with two peoples - the mainly Arab indigenous people and the Jews from many countries seeking a homeland. Several characters in the book are forced by circumstances to question their firmly held misconceptions as they become aware of the pain caused by a `them and us' outlook.
This is not a "happy ever after" book. The ending leaves a question hanging in the air - just like real life. "What next" we wonder.
The book appealed to me because of the human interest angle. It's a good read. It shows how people can relate to each other across barriers of race or faith.
Mrs Rantisi writes authoritatively about life in Israel Palestine, having lived there for almost forty years before retiring to the UK.
My Name is Musa (Paperback) This review is from: Janet Morris, North Vancouver, Canada.
A book like this could have been written only by someone who not only knows the land of Palestine and its people, but who loves it with a passion. This is clearly so with My Name is Musa. Ms. Rantisi writes with the authority and experience of someone who has lived side-by-side with the people in that land; Jews, Christians and Muslims and knows well the difficulties and challenges they all face. In this book, we watch Musa grow from a tiny babe to a sensitive, responsible young man ready to take on those challenges. We read too, of the intimate and emotional challenges his adoptive family face. This is an excellent piece of fiction - is it all fiction? In Musa we meet ordinary people from all three Abrahamic faiths who are working to achieve peace in that land.
My name is Musa conjures up the biblical story of Moses found floating in a basket.It is very readable keeping you interested in what happens to the baby. This novel i would recommend to anyone who is interested in knowing how it must feel and be a Palestinian living in occupied Israel.It is not over political but tells a fantastic story of an ordinary couple with their ups and downs portraying how people of any religion(or birthright) can be brainwashed into what they believe is just. I could see this film being made into a blockbuster film,it leaves you on a cliff hanger so i hope there will be a sequel!