The Covenant

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Overview

"This is the story behind the headlines we read every day, the heart-wrenching reality of modern life, where terrorists reign and average citizens find themselves at the intersection of politics and history." Living in Jerusalem, Elise Margulies always fears for the lives of her husband, cancer specialist Dr. Jonathan Margulies, and their daughter, Ilana. Then comes the day when Jon and Ilana fail to return home from her ballet recital. His bullet-ridden car is found empty on the side of the road hours later. Elise, in the last stages of a
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2004 Hardcover First Edition; First Printing New in New dust jacket 0312291191. Book and DJ are New, first edition, first printing, S-28, ; 9.30 X 6 X 1.10 inches; 288 pages.

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The Covenant

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Overview

"This is the story behind the headlines we read every day, the heart-wrenching reality of modern life, where terrorists reign and average citizens find themselves at the intersection of politics and history." Living in Jerusalem, Elise Margulies always fears for the lives of her husband, cancer specialist Dr. Jonathan Margulies, and their daughter, Ilana. Then comes the day when Jon and Ilana fail to return home from her ballet recital. His bullet-ridden car is found empty on the side of the road hours later. Elise, in the last stages of a difficult pregnancy, desperately calls her grandmother Leah in America for help and unknowingly revives a decades-old oath that transcends both time and place. Over the course of five terror- and hope-filled days, ordinary people join the front lines against terrorism, and the ties that bind two generations forge a potent alliance against contemporary evil.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“"While still maintaining her great warmth for characters, The Covenant is as suspenseful as a Mary Higgins Clark as you worry about the fate of characters hour by hour, minute by minute. The Covenant brings the headlines heartbreakingly home and redefines the unlimited boundaries of lifelong friendship."

- Gay Courter, author of The Midwife and Code Ezra

A thrilling page turning from start to finish, Naomi Ragen's The Covenant is not only a mesmerizing tale with fine drawn characters, it is a story of truth and integrity, a multi-generational novel love, friendship and duty. This is a MUST READ book. It is Naomi Ragen at her finest hour.”

- Faye Kellerman, author of Street Dreams

"Naomi Ragen's books are always compulsively readable, and The Covenant is no exception. An emotionally-charged and engrossing book, The Covenant is a tribute to the power of friendship and the strength of love in the face of evil."

- India Edghill, author of Wisdom’s Daughter: A Novel of Solomon and Sheba

Publishers Weekly
Ragen, an American writer who's lived in Israel for more than 30 years, blends tragedies of the past with headline news of today in her gripping, emotionally charged sixth novel. It's 2002, and the Margulies family-oncologist Jonathan; his pregnant, American-born wife, Elise; and their daughter, Ilana-are contentedly living in a Jerusalem settlement, until one day, on their way home, Jonathan and Ilana are kidnapped by Hamas. Elise's frantic call to her Bubbee Leah in Brooklyn reunites four women-now grandmas and great-grandmas-who, as girls, made the titular covenant: if they survived Auschwitz, they would become "one person, risking everything, giving everything, to help each other live in happiness all the days of our lives." Leah gathers up fellow New Yorker Esther, now a cosmetics millionaire; Paris nightclub owner Ariana; and Polish political activist Maria to help find the kidnap victims. It's a race against time, as the women wield their considerable influence and the Israeli army desperately tries to intercede with the kidnappers before the captives are killed. Ragen weaves in deeper, more serious undertones than the thriller plot suggests, touching on the stubborn pride and the serious purpose that keeps Israelis fighting (or, in some cases, not fighting) for their fragile country, "the land that God promised to the Jewish people in his Covenant to Abraham." Agent, Lisa Bankoff. (Nov.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Auschwitz, 1943. Four women-Leah, Esther, Maria, and Ariana-make a covenant, vowing to protect and help one another for life, if only God will allow them to survive. Fast-forward to 2002, and Leah's granddaughter Elise is living in Israel with her husband, Jonathan, and daughter Ilana. What starts out as an ordinary day for Jonathan, a cancer specialist, becomes a nightmare as he and his young daughter are taken hostage by Arab militants, who threaten to kill them unless their demands are met. Desperate, Elise calls her grandmother for help, and the covenant is renewed. What follows are five days of suspense, terror, and hope as the four women reunite to help a loved one. Ragen, a well-known author of Jewish fiction (e.g., The Sacrifice of Tamar), has written a fast-paced thriller that eerily echoes reality. She deftly puts a face on terrorism, which will leave an impression on every reader. Recommended for all public libraries, especially those with a large Jewish population.-Marika Zemke, West Bloomfield Twp. P.L., MI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312291198
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 11/11/2004
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.82 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Meet the Author

Naomi Ragen is the author of novels including The Tenth Song, The Sacrifice of Tamar, Sotah, and The Saturday Wife. Her books are international bestsellers, and her weekly email columns on life in the Middle East are read by thousands of subscribers worldwide. Ragen attended Brooklyn College and earned her master’s in English from Hebrew University. An American, she has lived in Jerusalem since 1971. She was recently voted one of the three most popular authors in Israel.

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Reading Group Guide

Living in Jerusalem, Elise Margulies fears for the lives of her husband and daughter every day. Then comes the day when her worst fears come true. Cancer specialist Dr. Jonathan Margulies drives his young daughter home from her ballet recital. His bullet-ridden car is found empty on the side of the road hours later. Elise, in the last stages of a difficult pregnancy, desperately calls her grandmother Leah in America for help and unknowingly revives a decades-old oath. Over five terror and hope-filled days during which ordinary people join the front lines against terrorism, the ties that bind two generations form a powerful alliance against contemporary evil.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2006

    Riveting and Powerful

    What makes The Covenant all the more engrossing and heart-wrenching is the fact that we are seeing it go on today, the news these days is full of terroristic activities and the horrors of what they do. Her fictitional characters are extraordinary and quite believable, the setting disturbing in its reality (the author clearly knows this subject), but throughout her novel is this string of hope that pulls you along so that three quarters of the way through the book, you will not be able to put it down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2013

    A must read for those desiring an understanding of the Israeli/Palestinian Issue

    Six months ago, I was able to take a trip to Israel with a group of other Americans. The question most of everyone’s mind was the Palestinian question. Our guide an Israeli born Jew tried to be tactful and change the subject. At the time, I did not understand his hesitancy in giving us a quick and easy answer most desired by Americans in our party. . There are no quick answers to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict Naomi Ragen’s book, The Covenant, is a must read in order to understand this complex issue that is so full of

    Naomi Ragen handles the issues of terrorism, conflict and how Jew and Arab must exist side by side. This book gives the Jewish perspective, what it is like to be Jewish, live in a land that is their ancestral homeland and try to survive when they are surrounded by those who want to wipe them off the face of the earth.

    This book is sensitive and tries to take the reader, through the art of story telling, into the hearts and minds of the Israeli and the Palestinian. The book also allows us to see the role of those Palestinians who live in close contact with their Jewish neighbors; showing us the pressure they are under to follow the dictates of Hamas and other organizations that want to see the annihilation of the entire nation of Israel.

    Naomi Ragen is a consummate story teller, sharing her perspective as both American and an Israeli. This is a book of sadness and hope. A must read for those wishing to really understand the issues facing each Israeli.

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  • Posted January 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not well developed...Frustrating

    There are 2 main story lines in this novel...the grandmother's experience of the Holocaust and the granddaughter's experience of a terrorist attack on her family. While I logically understand the connection Ragen was making between the experiences of the two women, she developed neither story well enough to make an emotional impact on me as a reader. I found myself wondering about what fully happened to the group of women in the Holocaust as Ragen often threw in references to experiences...but never tells the reader what actually happened. Further this impacts the granddaughter's story because the granddaughter reacts oddly to the tragic events happening to her...thinking more about the welfare of her grandmother than herself/unborn child/husband/or daughter. This reaction may have made sense to me as a reader if I had known more about the grandmother's memories...or had I known more about the character of the granddaughter. As I had neither, it often proved a frustrating read.

    This book could have been great...but very much misses it's emotional mark.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2008

    Unbelievable

    While I appreciated the beautiful descriptions of the Israeli countryside and community, the plot of this book was extremely disappointing. In the story, a terrorist act is committed, and the Israeli government are an incompetent bunch of buffoons unable to help. Only Americans can save the day. In order to buy the story, the reader must accept that completely implausible acts and coincidences occur on every other page. It's like a bad B-movie. Thumbs down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2006

    Excellent read

    The world should read this book. We do all cry the same tears.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2006

    Incredible Book!

    This is one of the best books I have read, the story was so engaging and extremely informative. It gives the reader a glimpse into the lives of others around the world and their problem they are still going through today. You should definately read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2006

    heart wrenching

    Naomi Ragen has done it again, written a must read novel, The Covenant is something all people should have between them, you cry, your heart beats faster, you want to read ahead, but do not, this book is what I feel, although, I cannot put it into writing, Shalom Naomi.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2005

    Brilliant combination of fiction and reality in the Middle East

    All of Naomi Ragen's novels are page-turners, but this one is her best yet. It combines a suspenseful story with details drawn from the reality of the Middle East that will startle many who get their information only from network news reports and the daily papers. Those who enjoy intrigue and suspense will like this book. However, I believe that the lasting value of this novel lies in Ms. Ragen's skill in combining fiction with the real facts of daily life in Israel and the ongoing struggle against terrorism. Those who have not lived in or visited Israel but who try to make sense of the daily news about the Mideast conflict will certainly gain a deeper understanding of what it is really all about.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2004

    Recommended

    A good story that gives a glimpse of life in Israel from both the Jewish and terrorist perspective. This book will stay with me for a long time.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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