In this lyrical and searing debut novel written by a rising literary star and MacDowell Fellow, a young man is preparing to serve in the Israeli army while also trying to reconcile his close relationship to two Palestinian siblings with his deeply ingrained loyalties to family and country.The story begins in an Israeli military jail, where four days after his nineteenth birthday Jonathan stares up at the fluorescent lights of his cell, and recalls the series of events that led him there.Two years earlier: Moving back to Israel after several years in Pennsylvania, Jonathan is ready to fight to preserve and defend the Jewish state, which his grandfather a Salonican Jew whose community was wiped out by the Nazis helped establish. But he is also conflicted about the possibility of having to monitor the occupied Palestinian territories, a concern that grows deeper and more urgent when he meets Nimreen and Laith the twin daughter and son of his mothers friend.From that winter morning on, the three become inseparable: wandering the streets on weekends, piling onto buses toward new discoveries, laughing uncontrollably. They share joints on the beach, trading snippets of poems, intimate secrets, family histories, resentments, and dreams. But with his draft date rapidly approaching, Jonathan wrestles with the question of what it means to be proud of your heritage and loyal to your people, while also feeling love for those outside of your own tribal family. And then that fateful day arrives, the one that lands Jonathan in prison and changes his relationship with the twins forever.Powerful, important, and timely, Sadness Is a White Bird explores one mans attempts to find a place for himself, discovering in the process a beautiful, against-the-odds love that flickers like a candle in the darkness of a never-ending conflict....
|Title||:||Sadness Is a White Bird|
|Number of Pages||:||275 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Sadness » Sadness Is a White Bird|
Sadness Is a White Bird Reviews
This was a really gorgeous book with great narration. A young man leaves America to return to Israel for his military service. Before enlisting, he meets Palestinian brother/sister twins and develops a deep friendship with them both. As he learns their family history, he starts to feel conflicted about his upcoming military service. The narrative starts with him in a military jail, then flashes back to the time leading up to his arrest.
The issues are complex. His desire to help his family and t ...more
TL;DR: An exquisite examination of grief, friendship, and loyalty.
Trigger warnings: one really weird scene where some teenage boys compare the lengths of their boners, plus racism and descriptions of violence.
You would think that growing up with a Catholic education, I would be well-versed in the details of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, it actually is not a subject with which I am very familiar. Rothman-Zecher's book will take anyone with any level of familiarity with the region a ...more
Once in a while if we as readers are lucky, pick up a book that effects us profoundly. For me, it was this book, I kept putting it down, to think about what I was reading, and yes even to let my emotions level out. The subject is a complicated one, Jewish and Arab relations in Isreal, but the author gives us a personal viewpoint, using three friends, two Arab, one Jewish. When the book opens, Jonathan sits in a jail, he is our narrator and their story is revealed as Jonathan writes to his Arab f ...more
An incredible piece of literature that I recommend everyone read, immediately!! The words on every page pulled at my heartstrings and I hated to say goodbye to these characters upon finishing. One of my top 2017 reads for sure. Highly recommend!! ALL THE STARS!
This gorgeous novel broke my heart again and again. SADNESS IS A WHITE BIRD asks so many questions, questions that are perhaps unanswerable--what does it mean to be a good person? what does it mean to be a good citizen? What does it mean to be a good friend?--against the back drop of the Israeli occupation. This novel shows the way history is intertwined with the present and voices the complexities of the human experience in a way that only fiction can do, and only the most lyrical and beautiful ...more
4 hearty stars!
Okay. So apparently I’m a person who holds a grudge. I realize a grudge makes me pretty huffy and grumpy, so I was sitting there annoyed as hell at the situation—mad at both the book and my snit. Grudges are uncool and they can ruin things.
I was dying to read this book, as my friends had chirped and chirped about it, flying around my To Be Read shelf, persuading me to grab this one next. “Oh goodie!” I chirped back. I’m on it.
And right away, the lyrical language, the intriguing ...more
This one was super intense; emotionally conflicting and one story I soon won't forget.
The story begins with Jonathan in jail and reflecting on his great love for his friends Nimreen and Laith. Brother and sister. Jonathan is completing his final year of highschool in Israel when he meets them. He develops a complicated relationship with them - he being Jewish; they being Arab.
There is no doubt a political angle to this book but it's interesting given the limited history I have of the strife tha ...more