In Israel, the lives of three women interweave with that of their country. Ratiba is an Israeli journalist who relinquishes family and friends to marry an Arab and move to live in his village. For 30 years, she hides her Jewish identity from her husband and children. Her sister Orit, is an actor who feels betrayed by Ratiba and exacts revenge on her with repercussions that far exceed her intentions. Elisheva dedicates her life to healing the wounded and the dying of the Second Israeli Intifada. As they mature, these women are forced to make choices they would never have imagined.
Israela is a story of secrets and alienation, hope and heroism; about Arabs who save Jews from disaster, and Jews who heal Arabs; about everyday people torn and desperately searching for the right path.
Here, the ancient pulsates in present time and the biblical holds prominence with the secular. Beneath this modern day drama unfolds the story of a land and its citizens, revealing the trajectory of two peoples, victims and perpetrators of a biblical curse.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.82(d)|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Israela, by Batya Casper, Ph.D. is a mesmerizing read that gives audiences a glimpse into the complexities of life in Israel. Using an intriguing three-person narrative format that revolves around the central characters, the author allows the reader to step into each character's predicament, thereby fully grasping the emotion and conflict surging within. More importantly, Casper's well-researched and thorough revelations about Israel portray the constant turmoil that its residents, both Arab and Jew, face on a daily basis. Beyond race and ethnicity, Israela is Israel's story-the story of humanity. Ratiba, a journalist who goes against her family and culture to marry an Israeli Arab, Orit, whose career in theater is plagued by her desire to reunite with Ratiba, and their nurse cousin, Elisheva, are the central characters of Israela. For readers, it doesn't take long before it becomes apparent that their parallel universes will collide and their fates are intertwined. Skillfully written, Casper blankets the characters in a cloud of secrecy and delivers surprises at the most unexpected of times. When each character's individual conflict merges into one resounding cry of hope and heroism, the book takes on a special meaning that transcends individualism and emphasizes the selfless nature of human beings turned heroes. The plot essentially explores the relationship between the three characters. Hamzah-Ratiba's son and Orit's nephew-who lands at Orit's house, bridging the gap between Orit and her long-lost sister. In Hamzah's own words, he tells his mother that Orit is "the aunt who took me in, who loved me almost as much as you." Interestingly, Elisheva, Ratiba's cousin, encounters Hamzah in a life or death situation. Will her experience as a nurse allow her to tend to her nephew? Can Hamzah ultimately succeed in bringing together his estranged family? Casper's Israela provides a panoramic view of the character's thoughts and actions by employing multiple shifts in narration. Interesting and informative, Israela is a must read!
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite Israela by Batya Casper is the story of an Israeli journalist, Ratiba, who marries her childhood love, an Israeli Arab who is not aware that she is Jewish. Ratiba has no contact with her family. Her sisters, Elisheva and Orit, miss her a lot. The story takes us from 1955 to 1983 and spans several generations. The story is very interesting. It takes readers to the world of Arabs and Jews and gives an overview of their cultures and lifestyles. The passion, complexities, and intermingling of two different cultures is handled well by the author. The characters, Ratiba, her Arab husband, two sisters, and two sons, have been developed well. All the characters are unusual and the book immerses readers deeply in the history of Israel and the Arabs. Readers can learn about different cultures and history and experience something unique and new. The backdrop of Israel makes the story heart wrenching. The book speaks about the loyalty, different cultures, love, and pain that exist in a family. The relationship between Arabs and Jews also forms an integral part of the story. Ratiba's sisters and children also add to the interesting tapestry. The characters and narration are colorful and descriptive. You feel for the people suffering in the war-torn country. The agonies, the joys, and the sufferings they go through living in a war zone is captured well. It is a very original and honest story that should be read by all.