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Steph's book blog is a lovely place for bookworms to hang out. It's brimming with hundreds of book reviews and new ones are added all the time.
Fortunately, blog owner Stephanie Rothwell is a history buff, so I was delighted when she agreed to read White Zion.
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 thoroughly 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 (Gila's note: a Yemenite character in White Zion named Assaf) got some form of revenge on the ones who could have done more. I read with a warm feeling when the kindness of 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.