This book centres around Sarah, a young Zionist who lives quietly and peaceably with her family in the Gaza Strip. That is until the Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, reneges on his earlier promise and sends in security forces to expel the 8,000 plus Jews from their homes. The forces then proceed to raze all the buildings leaving devastation behind.
Sarah and her family, all 5 of them, are rehoused temporarily in 2 rooms in a down market hotel. The overcrowding, lack of privacy and sense of being in the wrong place causes Sarah to leave for Tel Avi. Here she catches up with her cousin Dael, a musician and longtime supporter of Sarah. Here we watch and wonder as Sarah transforms from an inexperienced, religious young woman into a nightclub superstar and the lover of Ziv, the mesmerising owner of the nightclub Atlantis.
The characters are all well written and believable. We feel for Sarah (now called Sachar) as she makes her unsteady progress from being a loved and protected daughter in a Zionist family to the reigning Queen of Atlantis. We move with her as she rejects all she has learned before and as she learns to dress, walk, smoke and speak in this new world in which she finds herself and then onwards to the place where she can become herself; a powerful woman in her own right.
This is an amazing story and although it is depicted as fiction I am left feeling that so much of it is based on fact. We know all good fiction includes a certain amount of fact.
If I have any complaints it is the use of so many words unknown to those of us not of the Jewish faith. Perhaps Orit could have translated a few more of the words for us.
Note -I was given this book to read by the author and in return, I choose to write this review.