Review: The Hilltop: A Novel

The Hilltop: A Novel
The Hilltop: A Novel by Assaf Gavron
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One of my goals for the current year is to fill in some of my knowledge gaps. I picked up this book because it is set in a West Bank settlement in Israel. I had to be patient with it, give myself time to become comfortable with the style and setting. Land is so complicated in Israel. The town in this book is partially on Israeli land, partially on privately owned Arab land, and partially in a nature preserve that is not supposed to be built upon. There is a neighboring Arab village, but they don’t have any major skirmishes. The government goes back and forth, around and around, delivers supplies, demands evacuation, sends soldiers to protect them, sends soldiers to arrest them. The characters are largely motivated by good, lose their way, help each other, do very bad things. Almost every character, from every side, has done something for which he or she could end up in jail. I enjoyed this picture of one slice of Israeli life, but it certainly will not help anyone separate right and wrong.

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