4 out of 4 stars
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Review: Raquel says (something entirely unexpected) by Mois Benarroch
Ever wondered why there is a voice inside you. What that voice is, who put it there or why it tells you what to do and what not to do. Personally I always have but the explanations you get are those of superstitions or religion. Raquel says (something entirely unexpected) by Mois Benarroch gives meaning and reason to that voice. It tells us that the voice is a personality, our own creation, a weapon, a shield we developed from childhood through growing up to help us explain the confusion in this world, and also if you’re familiar with the author or if you’ve read some of his books then Raquel says (something entirely unexpected) is not an exception to his trilling genre of literature which revolves around good moral values, compassion, social-political fight and culture.
Raquel says (something entirely unexpected) is the kind of book that plays with your mind as you try come to grasp with what the writer is trying to portray. The book describes an individual with a disturbed personality. Raquel is a character both of fiction and reality she exists in the writers mind. He created her but then she gives him ideas and tells him what to do but there’s a twist, I would have boldly told you that Raquel is the only character of fiction in this book but the writer also portrayed himself (Mois) as a character in Raquel’s mind. The writer feels lonely in the world, he sees himself not up to standard in society so he wants to end it all. In this kind of disoriented mental state, he creates for himself a parallel personality (Raquel) whom he has a dialogue with every day in form of thoughts, emails and social media chat.
He has about 3 different personalities (Mois, Moshe and Mosito) Mois is the personality he likes most, it’s the personality that represents his indigenous Spanish origin. This is the personality he wants to reconnect with, it is the personality that connects him to Raquel. This personality gives him the freedom for the limitless possibilities he so desires (A life without limit) to carve a niche in a world that hinders you from expressing yourself. He hated society because of all its ills. He decries corruption and rot in the society, people forgetting their true values because of money. He preached religion, equality, he understood the true meaning of happiness/he thought us the true meaning of happiness.
In this book, parallel lines meeting is a metaphor for saying we can find our destiny if we look and work hard for it without letting the outside world deter us, finding peace in a world of chaos. He speaks of the trouble one faces in coming to grasp with the reality of this world. To achieve uniqueness in life, to be different, one cannot be liked by many, on your road to being great, a lot of enemies will be created. Our quest to understand the world, nature but how we feel when we finally do, or if we’re given the chance to, is epitomized in this. (Now that we see the world we’re going crazy) man’s quest for knowledge but when given finds himself in more confusion. How it feels to finally find inner peace…. We care about so many unimportant things ‘Vanity’ but the little things are the things that matter most. “The illusions we feed ourselves with” He is defiant to society, he sees himself as an instrument to speak against all the evil perpetrated in the society, the false truth that society tell us and make us believe. He preached or longed for unity among the human race. The novel is deep and highly inspirational. It helps us understand that the limits of our success/achievement in life is only in our imaginations therefore we control our destiny. In the writer’s own words, “we’re gods in our own way, we create our own world and manage it.
Emphasis is laid on the importance or benefits in being/growing up in one’s fatherland, one has an identity; and then the loss of that identity when he grows up in another man’s land and how frightening this could be. At the age of 12, he became an emigrant in Israel where he had to change his name, so he never really had the chance to develop a personality. The writer talked about the common childhood experience every child had while growing up, the dreams and aspirations. According to the writer, our experiences from growing up both good and bad are what defines us. Even after all we’ve suffered, we still grow up strong and willful. The writer spoke about the fear of making decisions, the hesitations, indecisiveness, we prefer to just wait for things to happen by themselves instead. He lives in his imaginations.
The writer made a lot of biblical illusions, and also to Arab culture (His origin) the Israeli culture and to the Jewish and Christian conflict. For example “When I created her from my foolish rib, from the rib of a frustrated writer. (A reference to the creation of eve the woman in Christian’s belief) He spoke about himself in the third person a lot. The book also centers on societal ills and injustices, the writer sees himself as a misfit in the society, and how society casts aside and looks down on those who decide to ask questions. How society makes them feel like misfits, the stigmatization and segregation. The book is a lamentation, he spoke in idioms. He preached the merits or gains of oneness, of togetherness, unity, what we can achieve when we’re one. He is deep, he cherishes his values. He spoke in the first, second and third persons… a case of listening to your innermost better self talking to you, talking to it. He spoke about discrimination, upper class and lower class segregation. Belief in the supernatural. He ridiculed history and culture, being ashamed of one’s own heritage. The ideals of self-worth. The Jewish culture, the persecution of the Jews. Our identity, our heritage denial because we feel it reduces our self-worth… how Jews or Arab people would like to profess Europeanism as their culture, forgetting their own heritage. He sounds hopelessness like he’s giving up. He is too metaphorical e.g. “who runs through the halls created by our footsteps” he is worried about the legacies we’re leaving for the unborn generation. “A toy never taken out of its box” (Stands for a destiny unfulfilled).
At the onset, you don’t get the total picture of what the author is trying to portray in the novel up to about the third chapter but on further reading, his literature becomes clear. You will also need to open up your mind to understand. He skips lines a lot and his lines are disjointed doesn’t make for an easy read because each chapter contains a different topic, (societal ills, personality, the connection between literature, virtual reality and real life, the loss of childhood) probably the reason why the lines are disjointed. He brought a different meaning to writing, to literature! He played on words a lot, he would make you fall in love with literature especially with his use of words so I rate the book a 4 out of 4 stars and I would recommend it for readers in their late teens to adults.
Raquel Says (Something Entirely Unexpected)
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