by Jessamyn Hope


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Safekeeping by Jessamyn Hope

A dazzling debut novel about love, loss, and the courage it takes to start over.

It’s 1994 and Adam, a drug addict from New York City, arrives at a kibbutz in Israel with a medieval sapphire brooch. To redress a past crime, he must give the priceless heirloom to a woman his grandfather loved when he was a Holocaust refugee on the kibbutz fifty years earlier. But first, he has to track this mystery woman down—a task that proves more complicated than expected.

On the kibbutz Adam joins other lost souls: Ulya, the ambitious and beautiful Soviet émigrée; Farid, the lovelorn Palestinian farmhand; Claudette, the French Canadian Catholic with OCD; Ofir, the Israeli teenager wounded in a bus bombing; and Ziva, the old Socialist Zionist firebrand who founded the kibbutz. Driven together by love, hostility, hope, and fear, their fates become forever entangled as they each get one last shot at redemption.

In the middle of that fateful summer glows the magnificent brooch with its perilous history spanning three continents and seven centuries. With insight and beauty, Safekeeping tackles that most human of questions: How can we expect to find meaning and happiness when we know that nothing lasts?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781941493069
Publisher: Fig Tree Books
Publication date: 06/09/2015
Pages: 371
Sales rank: 320,361
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Safekeeping is Jessamyn Hope's debut novel. Her fiction and memoirs have appeared in Ploughshares, Five Points, Colorado Review, Descant, and PRISM international, among other literary magazines. She was the Susannah McCorkle Scholar in Fiction at the 2012 Sewanee Writers Conference and has an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Originally from Montreal, Hope lived in Israel before moving to New York City. Learn more at

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Safekeeping 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How did the brooch get from the Russian woman to the Met? No fair!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hope builds a multi-protagonist multi-layered story in which all of the characters are complex and fully fledged, and it's quite a page turner/emotional roller coaster to boot. Quite a few scenes had me on the edge of my seat, heart pounding. The kibbutz setting is unique, and the historical details were elegantly wrought. In the end, it was a very tender story, and I am already starting to miss the characters.
tarheelreaderbl More than 1 year ago
This had the potential to be good, but just fell short. I found myself getting bogged down a lot. I would have given it 3 stars, except for one point. When Ziva went to the peanut fields and "picked peanuts," I was incredulous. Could the author (or her editor) seriously not know that you don't pick peanuts off a plant?? This one flaw ruined a lot for me; if the author couldn't research how peanuts grow, how on earth could I trust her research on life on a kibbutz?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Characters developed so well you would swear you were in the same room with them. You learn about the Jewish way of life and the story line is so intriguing that you do not want to put the book down until finished.