cover image The Confessions of Noa Weber

The Confessions of Noa Weber

Gail Hareven, Gayil Hareven, , trans. from the Hebrew by Dalya Bilu. . Melville, $16.95 (300pp) ISBN 978-1-933633-37-4

Noa Weber is the complex narrator of Hareven's moving love story, the first of her works to be translated into English. In 1972, Noa is wrapping up her final exams and preparing to be drafted into the Israeli army when she meets a Russian student named Alek. They promptly sleep together, and Noa is transfixed by her paramour. She's helpless to resist her compulsive love and sexual addiction for Alek, and fantasizes about marrying him, even though she claims he doesn't love her. In fact, her love is so strong, it remains unwavering throughout various life changes and occupations—the birth of her daughter, Hagar; a stint in law school; and a career as an author of feminist thrillers—causing Noa to wonder if her love isn't part of some larger yearning. She's a likable character, and Hareven pulls off the difficult task of allowing the reader to evaluate Noa and Alek's relationship from both inside it and outside of it. This contemplative inquiry into the nature of love speaks across cultures and introduces a compelling new Israeli voice to English-speaking readers. (Feb.)