Monday, June 30, 2008

A Bottle in the Gaza Sea

Title: A Bottle in the Gaza Sea
Author: Valerie Zenatti
Pages: 160
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Yearly Count: 36

Far removed from the conflict in the Middle East it is easy to live day by day not thinking of the dangerous situation that mothers, fathers, children and grandparents live through daily in many places on the other side of the ocean. It is easy to forget the freedoms women don't have, the childless babies and the violence. However in my drive to feel more, to know more and keep all peoples close to me. I believe education difies prejudice and so I read on.

A Bottle in the Gaza Sea is a book of two hopefuls in a sea of killing, prejudice, and a tradition of violence between the Palestinians and the jews, from Jerusalem and the Gaza strip. Tal, a teen from Jerusalem wills to find peace, and longs for a glint of hope, of life from the other side. She puts a letter in a bottle and asks her brother, who is a soldier to put it in the Gaza Sea. Naim, is what comes of it, a bright Palestinian teen topped off with sarcasm. They email back and forth. Facades are broken down, lies made to truths, and through their friendship hope comes to them and those around them.

I genuinely enjoyed reading A Bottle in the Gaza Sea, Zenatti did an excellent job with the witing and the content of the book. The characters are fully believable, lovable and unforgettable. I hesitate to mention that this is designed as a young adult read, and that because of that you would steer clear, feeling that maturity and wisdom would most likely be lacking. I can promise you that those assumptions are wrong. The young Tal and her Gaza friend, Naim are young in age, but it is easy to be captivated by them, as they both portray the losses of their peoples at the hands of each others people. I was involved, interested and Zenatti spoke to me. I highly recommend this book, it gives all the emotion without the descriptions of blood and guts ( but does not hide that that is everywhere). A Bottle in the Gaza Sea is a realistic hope for peace, a dream of a future life of freedom, no matter how many generations the war has already gone on for.


The two of us don't have much luck: we were born in the twentieth century- the bloodiest century in history, as Rosebush reminded us yet again yesterday.: Two world wars, the Soviet empire dominating part of the world +conflicts pretty much all over the place with increasingly sophisticated weapons= hundreds of millions of deaths. 'It's just maths,' he added with an almost sadistic smile (p. 34).

'We choose none of the things that determine out lives: not the way we look or where we're born or our parents. None of them. We just have to cope with all the things we haven't chosen and which make us who we are.' My father told me that last year, when I was having trouble with just being me (p. 132).

Other blogger reviews for A Bottle in the Gaza Sea:
Corinne at The Book Nest: A Bottle in the Gaza Sea

If you have read this book, I'd love to link to your review.


beastmomma said...

The second quote moved me to tears. This book looks terrific. Out of curiosity, are you going to be doing any giveaways? Hint, hint, wink, wink :)

Corinne said...

Beautiful review Bethany, I think you hit the nail right on the head. It was completely believable and never felt like she was talking down to us about the issues.

I am so pleased that you liked it too :)

kbookreviews said...

Wow sounds very good! Another for my TBR list!

**Seen my latest giveaway? It's "Aberrations" by Penelope Przekop. Comment here.

Julie said...

I just recently read a picture book to my son along similar lines. Two boys in Jerusalem, one Jewish, one Muslim, meet when it turns out they're both taking care of the same stray cat. Same moral, but written for little kids. Now, of course, I can't find the book, but if you're interested let me know & I'll hunt it down. Meanwhile, I'm bookmarking your post to my TBR folder. Thanks!

Julie said...

Found it! It's Snow in Jerusalem, by Deborah da Costa.

Ramya said...

hey bethany, this was a great review. I have been meaning to read this book for quite a while now.. don't know when i'll get to it..but your review only made me want to read it more!

Trish said...

Great review--this one sounds really interesting. I've been trying to read more about the Middle East and Africa and this one would fit the bill perfectly. Have you read The Storyteller's Daughter by Saira Shah? It is a really interesting memoir of a British journalist (Afghan descent) who goes back to Afghanistan to try and find her roots. I can't remember who I tell about it and who I don't--so if I've mentioned it before, don't mind me. :)