DNF – The Hilltop
Title: The Hilltop
Author: Assaf Gavron
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
On a rocky, beautiful hilltop stands Ma’aleh Hermesh C, a fledgling community flying under the radar. According to the government it doesn’t exist; according to the military it must be defended. On this contested land, Othniel Assis – under the wary gaze of the neighbouring Palestinian village – plants asparagus, rocket and cherry tomatoes, and he installs goats – and his ever-expanding family. As Othniel cheerfully manipulates government agencies, more settlers arrive, and, amid a hodge-podge of shipping containers and mobile homes, the outpost takes root.
One of the settlement’s steadfast residents is Gabi Kupper, a one-time free spirit and kibbutz-dweller, who undergoes a religious awakening. The delicate routines of Gabi’s new life are thrown into turmoil with the sudden arrival of Roni, his prodigal brother, who, years after venturing to America in search of fortune, arrives at Gabi’s door, penniless. To the settlement’s dismay, Roni soon hatches a plan to sell the “artisanal” olive oil from the Palestinian village to Tel Aviv yuppies. When a curious Washington Post correspondent stumbles into their midst, Ma’aleh Hermesh C becomes the focus of an international diplomatic scandal and faces its greatest test yet.
By turns serious and satirical, The Hilltop brilliantly skewers the complex, often absurd reality of life in Israel, and makes a startling parallel between today’s settlements and the kibbutz movement of Gabi and Roni’s youth. Rich with humour and insight, Assaf Gavron’s novel is the first to grapple with one of the most charged geo-political issues of our time.
I had to put it down at the 10% mark.
either. Usually, I am not someone who likes translated books. In general, there
seems to be something lost in the magic of the literature when a novel is brought
into another language. The last translated book I read (called 172 hours on the
moon) I absolutely hated as well, but struggled through. This one I decided
wasn’t worth it. It was not only the language, but also there seemed to be long
descriptions that I skimmed over and characters that I felt nothing for. At the
beginning I felt a bit bombarded with a
lot names and regardless of translating, I don’t think this was my cup of tea.
(which strangely enough I did enjoy) might also like this. Especially if they
are someone who cares a lot about setting in novel and likes beautiful language
that describes things.
Psst! This is my 100th post! *silently cheers*
besides your own, where would you go?
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