Anita Diamant is a prizewinning journalist whose work has appeared regularly in The Boston Globe Magazine and Parenting magazine. The author of three prior novels, including the international bestseller THE RED TENT, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband and daughter. Visit her website at www.anitadiamant.com
Atlit, an interment camp for illegal refugees near Haifa in what is now Israel (formally Palestine under British rule), is the setting for this engrossing and historically accurate novel by the author of The Red Tent. Here, Diamant gives voice to women who survived the Holocaust and seek freedom in Israel. Her story is narrated by four women with vastly different experiences: Shayndel, a Polish Zionist; Leonie, a Parisian beauty; Tedi, a Dutch Jew who had been living in hiding; and Zorah, a concentration camp survivor. As their friendships develop and they struggle to create new lives, the women revisit past horrors of escaping the genocide. Verdict Tragedy and redemption are artfully paired in this stirring novel. Recommended for readers interested in modern Jewish Zionist history and fans of stirring rescue and human-interest stories. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/09.]-Molly Abramowitz, Silver Spring, MD Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Diamant's bestseller, The Red Tent, explored the lives of biblical women ignored by the male-centric narrative. In her compulsively readable latest, she sketches the intertwined fates of several young women refugees at Atlit, a British-run internment camp set up in Palestine after WWII. There's Tedi, a Dutch girl who hid in a barn for years before being turned in and narrowly escaping Bergen-Belsen; Leonie, a beautiful French girl whose wartime years in Paris are cloaked with shame; Shayndel, a heroine of the Polish partisan movement whose cheerful facade hides a tortured soul; and Zorah, a concentration camp survivor who is filled with an understandable nihilism. The dynamic of suffering and renewed hope through friendship is the book's primary draw, but an eventual escape attempt adds a dash of suspense to the astutely imagined story of life at the camp: the wary relationship between the Palestinian Jews and the survivors, the intense flirtation between the young people that marks a return to life. Diamant opens a window into a time of sadness, confusion and optimism that has resonance for so much that's both triumphant and troubling in modern Jewish history. (Sept.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.