The Wanting

The Wanting

Book - 2013
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From the author of Not Me, this powerful novel about an Israeli father and his daughter brings to life a rich canvas of events and unexpected change in the aftermath of a suicide bombing.
 
In the galvanizing opening of The Wanting, the celebrated Russian-born postmodern architect Roman Guttman is injured in a bus bombing, causing his life to swerve into instability and his perceptions to become heightened and disturbed as he embarks on an ill-advised journey into Palestinian territory. The account of Roman's desert odyssey alternates with the vivacious, bittersweet diary of his thirteen-year-old daughter, Anyusha (who is on her own perilous path, of which Roman is ignorant), and the startlingly alive witnessings of Amir, the young Palestinian who pushed the button and is now damned to observe the havoc he has wrought from a shaky beyond.
 
Enriched by flashbacks to the alluringly sad tale of Anyusha's mother, a famous Russian refusenik who died for her beliefs, The Wanting is a poignant study of the costs of extremism, but it is most satisfying as a story of characters enmeshed in their imperfect love for one another and for the heartbreakingly complex world in which that love is wrought.

Publisher: New York : Schocken Books, c2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780805212556
0805212558
Branch Call Number: F LAV (Dayson Collection)
Characteristics: 322 p. ; 25 cm

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Cdnbookworm Feb 20, 2014

This novel revolves around three characters: Roman Guttman, a Russian-born postmodern architect in Israel; Anyusha Guttman, his 13-year-old daughter; and Ami, a young Palestinian.
As the novel begins, Roman is injured in a bus bombing, and this incident throws him into a confused state of mind. At times he reverts to his past and his life in Russia, his meeting and relationship with Anyusha (Anna)'s mother, and the events that caused him to come to Israel. He takes a drive out into Palestinian territory and the journey results in more difficulties.
Meanwhile Anna has become more involved with an extremist Jewish sect, unknown to Roman, and his absence results in a lack of supervision that makes her more vulnerable to their influences.
Amir observes both Anna and Roman from his otherworldly position, for he was the one that bombed the bus that caused Roman's injuries. We see how his life led to this action, how he feels about it now, and how he feels about Roman and Anna's actions.
This is a story about extremism in its different forms and the outcomes for both society and surviving individuals. It is about love, and how it can lead us to do things we would never have dreamed of doing. It is about the uncertainty of life and how intermingled our lives are.

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