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Edges: O Israel O Palestine

ISBN: 1-930180-14-4

By Leora Skolkin-Smith
Review by: Moira Richards

07/06

Edges: O Israel O Palestine is primarily the tale of a teenaged girl who has not yet come to terms with her father’s suicide two years before the story opens. Her mother and her older sister seem to have managed to overcome their family tragedy and are ready to move on with their lives, but for the fourteen-year-old Liana Bialik it has been more difficult. She is torn between her emotional dependence on her mother and her love for her lost father and seems unable to reconcile the two, perhaps because the marriage was not an entirely happy one.

Liana is the daughter of an American father and a Jewish mother and Edges describes the visit her family makes to Liana’s mother’s childhood home in Israel. Events in this strange and harsh military environment drive Liana to some of her own extremes of behavior and also to a confrontation with her demons, after which she is able to consider picking up her life again after the death of her father.

Edges: O Israel O Palestine is set in 1963, one of the tense years that erupted into the 1967 Israel/Palestine Six Day War. Leora Skolkin-Smith evokes the aridity, the heat, the stresses and history of that country and creates an effective backdrop to her exploration of the psyche of her young protagonist.

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