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Official Review: Israela by Batya Casper

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.

Official Review: Israela by Batya Casper

Post Number:#1 by Rachaelamb1
» 31 May 2017, 22:37

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Israela" by Batya Casper.]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by Rachaelamb1
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After having enjoyed two short stories by Batya Casper, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read a full length novel by the same author. Israela did not disappoint. This historical fiction book is not only beautifully written, but heartfelt and touching as well.

Orit and Ruti are Jewish sisters living in Israel in the 1960’s. Ruti is married to an Arab man under the disguise of being Arab herself. Orit is an actress who longs to be a part of Ruti’s life, but not under the pretense of being an Arab. The sisters break off their relationship and their lives drift apart with each one experiencing regret as the years go on. Meanwhile, tensions between Jews and Arabs worsen each day as historical events unfold.

Elisheva is Orit and Ruti’s cousin who immigrates to Israel from England when she is young. She experiences many horrific changes as she sees death and destruction happening to families around her. She devotes her life to helping others as a nurse, but feels helpless to help Orit and Ruti reconcile. Her live intertwines with her two cousins and many others into what is a beautifully told story.

We have all heard of the unrest in Israel, but Israela puts a face to the lives of both Jews and Arabs in Israel. The characters draw you into the story and make you long for an end to the destruction of innocent lives and broken families. It is hard to imagine what it would be like living in a place where peace is a far-off dream. This book paints a realistic picture of the struggle for peace everyone in Israel faces.

The characters are realistic and relatable. I could understand the way each of them felt and why they made the choices they did, even though I wanted to shake them for making stupid decisions sometimes. I love each of the main characters and enjoy how the author switches point of view to capture each of their thoughts.

The book explores many different political, religious, and relational ideas without forcing the author’s personal opinion on the reader. That is an incredible talent as many authors try too hard to make you believe the way they do. I feel like the ideas expressed flowed from the character’s themselves rather than the author.

All in all, it is an incredible book deserving of 4 out of 4 stars. I will remember these characters every time I think of Israel. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning more about the conflict between the Jews and Arabs in Israel. This is also a good read for anyone who enjoys historical books about love, family, and (most of all) peace.

******
Israela
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Re: Official Review: Israela by Batya Casper

Post Number:#2 by Jose adonay Garin
» 01 Jun 2017, 18:44

well, I can see you have a very good point of view; even there may be some of others
that can't say the same without having read it.
But the form of you recommending it is convicing .
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Re: Official Review: Israela by Batya Casper

Post Number:#3 by Jaime Lync
» 01 Jun 2017, 19:53

Great review. Anything called Israel is interesting to me.
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Re: Official Review: Israela by Batya Casper

Post Number:#4 by MarisaRose
» 02 Jun 2017, 05:51

Ever since seeing this as BOTD, I've been dying to read it. It sounds like this one has all the right elements for an emotional and character driven story. Thanks for the great review :)
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Re: Official Review: Israela by Batya Casper

Post Number:#5 by Chrys Brobbey
» 02 Jun 2017, 16:44

The uneasy relationships between Jews and Arabs have been the cause for wars and much violence. But they are both descendants of Abraham who ought to relate as siblings. The author uses the strained relationship between the two sisters to highlight the historical point, I believe. Kudos for the review.
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Re: Official Review: Israela by Batya Casper

Post Number:#6 by ZenaLei7
» 02 Jun 2017, 21:33

I like how the book discusses many different political and religious ideas without having the author force their ideas on anyone else. I like books that have diversity in it and this seems like a book that I would enjoy. Great job on the review!
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Re: Official Review: Israela by Batya Casper

Post Number:#7 by Amagine
» 03 Jun 2017, 06:20

This book is already on my shelf as a book that I want to read. I remember thinking that it sounded very intriguing. Your review makes me want to read it more.

Great Review! 💙
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Re: Official Review: Israela by Batya Casper

Post Number:#8 by Festus
» 05 Jun 2017, 07:37

Diasporic experiences and Jews-Palestinian conflict are usually the centerpieces of historical fictions emanating from Palestine or Jewish writers, taking cognizance of my recent review on Mois Benarroch's Keys to Tetouan. Love as being speculated is blind and like Shakespeare Juliet, Ruth is not just blind but blindfolded. But how far can she go in an atmosphere of mortal rivalry and eternal enmity. She may be luckier, unlike Juliet who opts for the Devil's alternative. Israela reinforces the fact that circumstances play vital role in one's social architecture. Both Casper and Rachaelamb1 deserve more than a round of applause.
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Re: Official Review: Israela by Batya Casper

Post Number:#9 by kandscreeley
» 05 Jun 2017, 07:47

I love that this explores so many different aspects of society and culture without forcing the authors viewpoint on us. It's also nice that the characters are so easy to relate to as that makes a truly enjoyable book. Thanks for the review.
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Re: Official Review: Israela by Batya Casper

Post Number:#10 by Fuzee4
» 09 Jun 2017, 09:25

The title was the first thing that caught me, and now you're review has convinced me enough to add the book to my tbr pile :)
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Re: Official Review: Israela by Batya Casper

Post Number:#11 by Rosemary Okoko
» 17 Jun 2017, 10:19

I wonder when the world will ever have peace. This must be a very sad book to read. Thanks for the review.
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Re: Official Review: Israela by Batya Casper

Post Number:#12 by Fuzee4
» 22 Jun 2017, 02:52

Hey, Great review. I saw this book in the historical section and wasn't sure what to make of it. Your review has shed some light on my ignorance. :P
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Re: Official Review: Israela by Batya Casper

Post Number:#13 by The Researcher
» 26 Jul 2017, 04:08

You wrote a very convincing review. The way you related to the woes of the characters is excellent. The novel does deal with a very intense topic.
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