A Wall of Light

Edeet Ravel, Author . HarperCollins $23.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-06-076146-2

Ravel's third novel chronicles a belated emotional and sexual coming-of-age for 32-year-old Israeli math professor Sonya Vronsky. Rounding out the cast of characters are Sonya's mother, Anna, a Russian immigrant to Israel in the 1950s, and Sonya's nephew, Noah. Anna tells her story through letters to the married lover she left behind in Russia, while Noah expresses his experiences as a sexually ambivalent adolescent in 1980s Israel in diary form. Though Ravel strives for historical panorama with the shifting chronological perspectives, the novel's pace decelerates whenever Anna or Noah take center stage—Sonya's story is the most compelling though the least credible. Deafened by childhood illness, Sonya was further traumatized when she was raped and beaten as a teenager. With no sexual experience other than the rape, she considers herself a virgin and determines to change her life by seducing an Arabic taxi driver. Sonya spends the rest of the novel pursuing him through the Palestinian neighborhoods of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, a plot Ravel uses to illuminate Israel's deep racial and political strife. Ravel is not a subtle storyteller, but some readers may feel engaged by the sympathetic nature of Sonya's character, as well as by the complex, tense backdrop of modern-day Israel. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 05/23/2005
Release date: 08/01/2005
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FORMATS
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-06-076147-9
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-679-31354-0
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-0-679-31353-3
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-193243-4
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-193244-1
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 288 pages - 978-0-06-193247-2
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-193249-6
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