What would you do if you were faced with a task that went completely against the values on which you were raised? What would you do if refusal to carry it out would doom your professional career, but doing it might distance your wife, and could even tear your family away from you? And what would you do if your husband was drawn into a swirling action that went completely against your humanitarian spirit? If his activities and life style differed so markedly from the values you wish to endow to your children?
“You don’t break up a home. It’s that simple: a home is not something you take apart, period. Once you get married, you’re married for life. From then on, you just keep climbing the ladder until you reach the top. There’s no opportunity to stand still and look down, nor to look around to see whether or not it suits you. End of story.”
It is with these words – spoken so authoritatively by Colonel Udi Am-Shalom – that the novel Disengagements – Final Call for Happiness begins. He makes this statement, however, before his sensitive wife Yael meets an experienced older man, a master artist of love and courtship, and before he himself has to evacuate a family from a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip in the line of duty, on government orders. Only after these two life-changing events does Udi grasp how lonely and isolated he really is, and how deeply he yearns for the most basic bond ”” the one between a husband and a wife.
This contemporary novel follows the unfolding events leading to the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, and their impact on the life of one typical Israeli family. Although this withdrawal is geographically far from them, it penetrates the deepest cracks in the walls of their home. Constantly flowing from the personal into the national it depicts the acute pain that disengagements entail, and the agony that ensues when something whole is unravelled. The national turmoil serves as a backdrop to the gradual crumbling of the Am-Shalom family, and to the reconstruction efforts aimed at bringing new hope and meanings.
Originally written in Hebrew, this book has been translated into English to reach more readers. Having a child with ADHD can be a difficult thing, especially when he cannot speak without stuttering. His father is having issues between what is right, and following orders in his high-ranking military job. This book explores the political history of Israel, which I’ve been finding interesting since I knew very little about it in advance, other than a few previous Israeli books I’ve recently reviewed which contained minimal information.
This is a multiple first person narrative, which can be confusing at first, but is really cool allowing you to see the perspective from each character. This book is written with a lot of raw honesty, with families having to relocate, and their marriage close to the breaking point, can they come together in this stressful time? Read this book to find out!
I am not quite finished this book yet, since I’ve had a lot happening with pending reviews, Little Man starting up daycare, and me needing to return to work. If anything of my opinion changes, I will post another blog 😀
I received this ebook free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
UPDATE – this book has since changed titles since I reviewed it… below is a picture from the listing