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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
In the complex reality of life and death in the Middle East, contradictions are commonplace. This compelling story, a deeply personal one, shares that irony, as journalist Laura Blumenfeld blends themes that are at the heart of the troubles between Israelis and Palestinians: the tradition of revenge and the human heart's need to sustain hope.
Blumenfeld's father, a noted rabbi, was shot on the streets of Jerusalem's Old City in 1986 by a Palestinian terrorist. He recovered completely, but in the wake of the event, Laura felt an overwhelming need for revenge. "…This hand will find you. I am his daughter," she wrote bitterly in a poem. She then set out to find her father's attacker. This book recounts the journey she took to find understanding, satisfaction, and ultimately, personal healing.
Blumenthal's book is deeply disturbing and penetrating, moving on multiple levels. It brilliantly makes the political personal and intimate. And in the end, there are no Israelis or Palestinians, no occupiers or terrorists. There are only people, families, and deeply wounded lives. Revenge: A Story of Hope raises as many questions as it tries to answer. All of them are questions we all need to confront before we can stop the madness that has become daily life in the lands holiest to three of the world's major religions.
Of course, books cannot bring peace. Peace can only come one heart at a time. But reading can help initiate understanding, and that is where healing begins. This book, filled with the myriad contradictions that have framed an age-old conflict, is one good place to start. (Elena Simon)
Elena Simon lives in New York City.