Two young women, living on opposite sides of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, fall victim to its horrific violence.
Instead of succumbing to hate and despair, Tyra and Noureen reach across the divide to form a friendship that becomes a beacon of hope and inspires others to bridge decades of loathing.
Together they take the first steps toward the creation of a new narrative for a better future.
I came across this novel on Netgalley when I was on my self-imposed ban last month, but I couldn’t resist the synopsis and cover. Having been on holiday to the Middle East many years ago, and having seen the disparity between the lives of Palestinian refugees and other residents of the region, I knew I had to read this.
Tyra is an American Jew living in New York with political activist parents. She’s grown up going along to Civil Rights demonstrations all her life and is now in a abusive relationship with her boyfriend, who is also a political activist.
Noureen is a Palestinian Muslim living in Bethlehem and is about to be married off to a respected doctor and widower 10 years older than herself. Her soon to be in-laws have connections with the Palestinian authority, so there is a lot of pressure for her to marry.
I won’t tell you any more about the plot because I don’t want to spoil it, except to say that these two women eventually meet in a chain of events that make them reach out and become friends.
I loved this book, especially the main characters Tyra and Noureen, who really did feel like real people, living real lives. I was so caught up in their worlds, that at one point I had to stop myself from looking up the websites and Facebook pages mentioned. I felt like that I was a fly on the wall reading about these women wanting to make a positive difference in a impossible situation.
I highly recommend this novel, especially if you are looking for a more diverse read, as it really does deserve to be read far and wide.
More info can be found on the author’s website here
Thanks so much to NetGalley and Black Rose Writing for my digital copy.