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
Jonathan, at 19, is the narrator of this novel, told in letters written to his friend Laith from military prison in Israel.
This novel is about the ongoing conflict in Israel and Palestine, but on a much more personal level. It is about family and family history, and how that molds our path. It is about friendship and the barriers that arise, how far intimacy can go when it confronts your identity. I found it overall to be just a bit too long, but enjoyed the read.
Jonathan moved with his family ...more
Extraordinary! I had started this book 2 days ago...a day after having surgery....loved it immediately...but between lots of extra sleep - it wasn’t until today, when I read most of it in a final sweep sitting. For those whom I owe messages to - forgive me — this novel became impossible to put down.
We know Jonathan is in an Israeli military jail at the start of this novel.....
This story absolutely takes your breath away - so incredibly well written -
Many of my own memories came rushing back to ...more
Jonathan has just turned nineteen but as he sits in an Israeli military prison, he reminices as to how he got there. He speaks to his friend Laith through letters and flashbacks. Jonathan grew up in the United States but moved back to Israel to finish high school and then become part of the IDF (the Israeli Defence Forces). In the interim between highschool and the army, Jonathan meets Laith and his twin sister Nimreem, of Palestian origin. The three of them become close friends, spending almost ...more
Sadness is a White Bird is a beautiful and sad story of Jonathan, who is in a military jail in Israel. Much of the book is addressed to Laith and serves as a letter of love/apology to Laith and his twin sister, Nimreen. Prior to joining the Israeli army, Jonathan befriends Laith and Nimreen, who are Palestinians; his new friends lead to a great conflict for Jonathan, who has always identified prominently as a Jewish man and Israeli.
He finds himself torn between a) his love for his family, his f ...more
I'm so happy that I picked up this ARC! I loved every minute of it. Rothman-Zecher's story is a morally complex one that eschews easy answers, choosing instead to focus on a group of unlikely friends trying to find a third path in a polarized culture.
Jonathan, an Israeli-American teenager, is a dyed in the wool Zionist. His family suffered great loss in the Holocaust and, as a result, he is super committed to the project of Israel. After spending most of his life stateside, Jonathan's family re ...more
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
Lyrical debut novel about an Israeli teenager, Yonatan, who befriends Palestinian twins Laith and Nimreen just prior to his entering the draft to defend the occupied Palestinian territories. The trio share a brief but intense friendship that is complicated by the bitter divide between Arabs and Jews in Palestine.
The author has a decided viewpoint here, but that's his prerogative and it didn't detract (for me) from the story or the sheer strength and beauty of his writing. I loved all of the char ...more
When his family moves from America to Israel, Jonathan embarks on a passionate love affair with his new country. But in the year before he joins the Israeli army he meets Palestinian twins Nimreen and Laith, with whom he forms an intimate bond of love and friendship. The beautifully wrought story of Jonathan’s conflicted beliefs and passions reminds us that the mentality of Us vs Them can only end badly for both. And that a love story isn’t any good unless it breaks your heart.