Read Sadness Is a White Bird by Moriel Rothman-Zecher Online

Sadness Is a White Bird

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
Author :
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ISBN : 9781501176265
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 275 pages
Url Type : Home » Sadness » Sadness Is a White Bird

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Sadness Is a White Bird Reviews

  • Karen

    The story of a friendship between a young Jewish man named Jonathan and Arab twins Laith and Nimreen, are tested by the conflict that will never end between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East.

    Jonathan, who will be going into the armed service for Israel, and later when he is actually in service, struggles with what his duties will be and what he himself thinks is morally correct.

    Sad, intense, passionate and poetic.

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    4 lyrically dark stars to Sadness Is a White Bird! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    Jonathan is 19 years old and preparing to serve in the Israeli army when he befriends Palestinian twins, Laith and Nimreen. As the story begins, Jonathan is in jail, and his story is told through letters to Laith. The second person narrative was refreshing.

    Through Jonathan’s friendship with Laith and Nimreen, he begins a journey of self-discovery and coming-of-age where his emotions give rise to conflict within him about serving in the
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  • J Verne

    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

  • Angela M



    When I started to read this story about a young Israeli man who develops a close relationship with a Palestinian brother and sister, it reminded me of a book I read this year, All the Rivers . That one is about an Israeli woman and Palestinian young man who are living in New York and fall in love . Both of these books reflect on the difficulty of deeply emotional relationships charged with the current political and historical reality of the conflict. This beautifully written story begins with Jo
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  • Booktart

    Aside from the sex scenes, which felt overwrought ( though there are only two and I love the fact that sexuality is not black and white for the main character) this is a beautifully written novel that explores Israel’s very complicated history. Although the narrator is a Jewish American boy living in Israel, we get a nuanced perspective of the difficulties of being an Arab Israeli and the pain the conflict causes.

  • Diane S ☔

    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

  • Vegantrav

    This novel is a testament to the power of fiction. While most of us can intellectually grasp some of the reasons for the divisions between Israeli Jews and Palestinians, we are unable to fathom the emotional depths and the deeply ingrained, historically-based passions involved. This novel, more than anything else I've read or seen, has made the Israeli-Palestinian conflict vividly real to me. And the author achieved this effect with grace, nuance, brilliant character development, and a refusal t ...more

  • Cheri

    !! NOW AVAILABLE !!

    When we’re young, we see all the things we want to change, believing those changes to be easy to accomplish. We find, define our own idea of beauty, we find, define the idea of what we want our “home” to be like, to feel like, a place where our values are part of our lives, our days, where we find acceptance of those values among those we love. Living in harmony. Finding forgiveness from others, from ourselves – hopefully, ultimately – for those we’ve hurt, offended. If we’re
    ...more