A Jealous God - reviews

From the Sunday Times:

"The 1946 bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem is at the heart of Simon Mawer's A Jealous God... Mawer, with a wonderful feeling for place and time, cuts deftly between life in Cyprus and England, and post-war Palestine... The story is as dense and gripping as a thriller..."
Margaret Walters

 

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From New Statesman:

"The central figure is Helen Harding, an English girl who never knew her father, Andrew - a British officer who perished in the savage bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.... Her attempts to recapture the past through her relationships with her stepbrother, Michael, and Andrew's cynical war buddy, Dennis Killin, are doomed to a frustrating limbo. The novel twists and turns between these narratives, allowing us a kind of God-like eye to see the connections that Helen, kept from the truth by her dying mother, Lorna, may never find out.

"Happenstance found me reading the novel on a trip to Israel and its emerging shadow, Palestine, during the latest rumble of the ancient feud. Mawer describes a roadblock at Latrun, in 1946; there is still a roadblock, some miles up the road, with nervous soldiers once again scrutinising drivers' faces for their secret thoughts.

"Mawer is concerned, I think, with the dissonances that arise from the meeting of Englishness - with its schizoid arrogance and self-effacement - and old wars, ancient hatreds and their harsh loyalties. The book is finely and intelligently written..."

Simon Louvish

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Simon Mawer 2008 - 2015. This website is written and maintained by the author.