By Raphaël Jerusalmy

(translated by Penny Hueston)

** Publication Date 3 December 2019 **

Living in Tel Aviv has its advantages and disadvantages. Tel Aviv is a beautiful beachside city with a thriving nightlife. Tel Aviv is sometimes in the middle of a war zone. When Naor, a film student, is forced to evacuate during a firestorm, his grandfather Saba gets off the bus and refuses to go. So Naor and his girlfriend Yaël follow and become fugitives as they hide out from the missile strikes.

As time passes, the three are forced to make do with what they can as the city is shut down. Naor begins filming the evacuation and Tel Aviv as it sits mostly empty. There are still nearby missile strikes, and they have no power or water, but the choice they’ve made allows them to experience life as they haven’t before. It is an introspective time for them. Perhaps staying in the city wasn’t such a bad thing after all, until something tragic occurs.

This novel was translated from the original French publication. At first I had a hard time following the story, as it is Naor’s narration to his mother on a car ride to her kibbutz. Once I continued through the story, I got into the rhythm and the tale. For those of us in the US, it is so hard to imagine living in a war zone such as Israel. The story of Saba, Naor and Yaël hiding out in the city is a good one. I did enjoy it.

3.5 stars


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