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Monday, September 19, 2011

Wherever You Go



by Joan Leegant
253 pages

About the Book

Yona, Mark, and Aaron don't know each other but their lives will soon intersect in a very dramatic way. Yona is in Israel to try to heal the broken relationship with her sister and put her own life back together in the process. Mark is returning home to Israel to teach a college course while reevaluating his religious beliefs. Aaron is adrift in Israel after his plans fall apart, but he finds purpose in life when he joins a group of settlers building a new community. An act of terrorism and the resulting explosion will affect these three very different people and turn each of their lives in a new direction.

Why I Read It

The author pitched this book to me and I was intrigued by the summary. The topic and setting were out of my normal reading habits yet they captured my attention.

My Thoughts

I loved this book! It was one of those where I wanted to read it non-stop until the end, but since I couldn't do that I had to sneak in a few pages whenever possible. So, so good!

Each of the three main characters, Yona, Mark, and Aaron, felt to me like real people. Their personalities, actions, and motivations all made sense. Their relationships (most of which were broken in some way) also felt real - a parent's disappointment in an adult child for choosing a different life, a sister's anger over a personal betrayal, a son's opinions forced aside by an overbearing parent, and so many, many others.

I could understand how each character got to his/her place in life, and each subsequent action made sense based on that character. This is important to me - I really don't like it when a character behaves in a way that doesn't make sense with what I know about him/her.

I'm so glad I had the opportunity to read this book. I really, really loved it and will be lending my copy to some local friends very soon.

A Side Note

In reading other reviews of this book I saw that Ryan @ Wordsmithonia has an issue with the portrayal of one of the secondary characters. I kept this in mind while reading as I wanted to see if I had the same reaction. I didn't. I see Ryan's point, but in my mind this particular character was not completely stable (not sure if he was mentally ill or not, but something was definitely not right with him) and his actions were a manifestation of that.


6 comments:

Care said...

You really loved it? And it was different than your usual fare? And, I haven't read a modern Israel setting book that I can recall. Fair enough, I will tbr this. thanks!

Heather J. said...

Care - I really did love it - I'm so glad I accepted a copy for review.

Ryan said...

I'm glad you liked the book. I think most will, it's just wasn't what I expected it to be when I started.

I think the reason why that bothered me so much was the way the character is drawn reminded me of every stereotype opponents on lifting Don't Ask, Don't Tell. This was exactly what they think gay men would be like in the military.

Heather J. said...

Ryan - I know exactly what you mean regarding that character and I can see why that was an issue for you. Still I really enjoyed this book, as you know. :)

Erin said...

I'm glad you liked this one so much! It's one of the next few I'll be starting. I'm interested to learn more about a topic I know little about, and the fact that the story is good as well is a bonus!

Heather J. said...

Erin - I hope you end up enjoying this one as much as I did!

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