Strangers with the same dream
"We came into their valley at dawn." So begins this taut roller-coaster of a novel. From three vastly different points of view, Alison Pick relates the same vivid and rivetting story of one tranformative year. That year is 1921, and a band of young Jewish pioneers, many escaping violent homelands, have set out to realize a utopian dream--the founding of a kibbutz--on a patch of land that will later become Israel. Writing with a tightly controlled intensity, Alison Pick takes us inside the very different minds of her three key characters--two young unmarried women, one plain and one beautiful, escaping peril in Russia and Europe; and one slightly older man, a group leader who is married with two children--to depict how idealism quickly tumbles into pragmatism, and how the utopian dream is punctured by messy human entanglements. This is also the story of the land itself (present-day Israel and Palestine), revealing with sympathy and terrible irony how the enthusiastic newcomers chose to ignore the subtle but undeniable fact that their valley was already populated, home to a people that the pioneers did not want to see. Writing with extraordinary power, Pick creates unforgettable characters who, isolated in the enclosure of their hard-won utopian dream, are haunted by ghosts, compromised by unbearable secrets, and finally, despite flashes of love and hope, worn down by hardship, human frailty, the difficulties of "equality" and the pull of violent confontration. The novel's utterly shocking but satisfying conclusion will have readers flipping back to the beginning to trace patterns and wrestle with the question of what is, or is not, inevitable and knowable in the human heart."-- Provided by publisher.
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