White Zion by Gila Green – Review.

About The Book

It’s titled ‘White Zion’ but Gila Green paints from all the colors/hues of the Jewish palette. These gritty yet shimmering stories get into you. I read them all in two swoops, then stayed up for an hour or two, maybe four, waiting for my heart to return to normal.
-Ruchama King Feuerman, author of In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist and Seven Blessings

In a journey of generations from Aden to Palestine to Ottawa, one Yemenite family encounters new and difficult realities: racism and war, rejection and divorce, resourceful survival and tragic death. With smells of delicious breads wafting up from the page, embroidering detail upon detail in fine literary stitch, Gila Green draws us fully into her narrative, as she generously shares with us the hidden core of family life and the stories she is not afraid to tell.
-Yael Unterman, author of The Hidden of Things: Twelve Stories of Love & Longing

Imagine a group of friends and relatives coming together throughout the afternoon over food and drink, staying late into the evening to share stories that engender laughter, tears, empathy and admiration. The profoundly satisfying stories in White Zion are rich in intimate detail, peopled with a cast of heart wrenching characters at once familiar and unique, a gathering of personalities that leaves me reluctant to leave their company and eager to revisit them. 
-Pearl Luke, author of Madame Zee and Burning Ground

My Review

With thanks to the author for the copy received. I read the first few chapters of this book twice, I misunderstood the description ‘novel in stories’ so hadn’t realised that they all concerned the same family at different times in history. It was no hardship, I throughly enjoyed this book and I found it very different to anything else I have read.

It was fascinating to read about the development of Israel, how different it was to life in Ottawa and how Miriam adapted to married life there after a childhood spent in Canada. I read with sadness, at how hard it was being a child who was bullied for being Yemenite and living in poverty. I cheered when years later he got some form of revenge on the ones who could have done more. I read with a warm feeling when the kindness strangers made a huge difference to a difficult existence. And I laughed at the tale about the rat on a wedding day.

I had to ask a friend occasionally about some of the Jewish customs but not knowing wouldn’t have stopped me enjoying this novel. It was fascinating to read about a culture and way of life so different to my own. I also have to comment on the photo that is used as the cover image, it is a beautiful one that says a lot.

3 Replies to “White Zion by Gila Green – Review.”

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