Homesick
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Homesick

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  351 ratings  ·  51 reviews
This heart-warming, charming and clever first novel dips into the lives of each of the inhabitants of a village in Israel.

It is 1995 and Noa and Amir, a student couple, have decided to move in together. Noa is studying photography in Jerusalem and Amir is a psychology student in Tel Aviv. They choose a small apartment in a village in the hills, midway between the two citie...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Chatto & Windus (first published 2004)
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Piperitapitta
Nostalgia di domani.

Di domani più che di ieri in questo secondo romanzo di Eshkol Nevo che leggo, il suo primo, più intimo e complesso.
Apparentemente più maturo e sofisticato de «La simmetria dei desideri», sicuramente meno complice, intriso ancor più di quel senso di appartenenza e al tempo stesso di estraneità che già avevo trovato nei quattro amici israeliani, di quella forza centrifuga e centripeta che li avvicina e allontana alla loro terra in un frullato continuo di emozioni e sensazioni u...more
K
Dec 10, 2010 K rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K by: Hadassa
Shelves: israel
The original Hebrew title of this book, arbaa batim ve-gaagua (four homes and longing), is a far better description of its story. One home belongs to Noa, a photography student, and Amir, her boyfriend studying psychology, who have decided to move in together and found an apartment to rent. The second home is that of their landlords, Moshe and Sima, a married couple not much older than Noa and Amir who have two young children. In the third home, a boy named Yotam has just lost his beloved older...more
Karen
Aug 23, 2008 Karen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Karen by: My grandmother
Shelves: read-in-hebrew
So the first question that came to my (actually Anthony's) mind when I started reading this book was, WTF, did my grandmother ghost-write this thing? There are several reasons to believe that she did: (a) she is a relatively successful writer (mainly of children's books) in Israel, (b) she recommended this book to me, bought me a copy four years ago and proceeded to ask me several times whether I'd read it yet, (c) for no particular reason, the author points out that one of the characters works...more
Leka
Turbi.ne

Nostalgia:desiderio malinconico e violento di tornare in patria, ossia di rivedere i luoghi dove passammo l'infanzia e dove albergano oggetti cari, il quale è cagione di profonda tristezza e di tale sconcerto nell'economia animale, da produrre persino la morte.

Una definizione (un po' antiquata nella scelta dei vocaboli) di quello che il titolo evoca e di quello che in queste pagine di Nevo potrete trovare.
Nella storia di Amir e in quella di Noa;
nella lotta di Yotam e in quella dei suoi...more
Tuck
great series by Dalkey Archive, the Hebrew Literature Series, this one about a young university going couple who move to a small town outside Jerusalem because it so much more affordable. Also, this is their first time cohabitating. So the elements of small town life, young coupledom, Israelis and Palestinians, dead soldiers, settler atrocities, bus bombs, all the fun stuff by the Med. This is 4 stars because of the great characters, most times very funny, even antic, action, meditations on love...more
Avital
A couple of students moves into a simple neighborhood near Jerusalem. A friend of theirs sends them letters from his travels. The house owners are only a bit older than they are, but very different from them. The parents of the house owner live in a house whose Arab residents ran away from fifty years earlier, and now this family's son wants in. Each of these characters tells us about his/her relationships and about close and far happenings. At first it's a little confusing, but once you get a h...more
Paul Harris
This debut novel shows a writer with great promise and a real knack for forming his characters with an impressive depth. The plot unfolds nicely as a young student couple move into a quiet neighbourhood that's meant to be a compromise - halfway between Jerusalem & Tel Aviv where they each study. Around them, the lives of their neighbours are woven into the story. It's set against a backdrop of late '95/early '96 Israel - the time of Rabin's assassination, the crumbling 'peace process', and a...more
Baklavahalva
So many things to loooove about this novel. It made me cry in a means of transportation (a plane for once, not a train). It's polyphonic -- different characters alternate telling the story as it progresses. Everyone's emotionally complex, yet loveable; there's even a Palestinian character just like that. Lots of language play. Epistolary parts. Rock songs. It has one of the best, most convincing depictions of a romantic couple interacting that I've ever read. Not to forget that the translator ha...more
Ben
It's clear that Eshkol Nevo has an interesting, emotional, and moving narrative to tell, one that delves deeply into the lives of an eclectic collection of people. Unfortunately, a few technical things about the way in which Nevo went about it threw me off and left me wanting.

There's no definitive divide between character perspectives, and while the characters clearly have different beliefs and ways of thinking, the small breaks weren't enough for me to easily follow the story nor separate the c...more
Garry
Homesick largely takes place in an apartment block in a place translated as 'the Castel', just outside Jerusalem. A little research suggests that the Castel is Al Qastal, a Palestinian village that was 'depopulated' and subsumed by Israel in 1948, and is now an outer suburb of Jerusalem.

There are multiple stories being told in Homesick, but they are all explorations on the theme of longing. An old Palestinian man longing for a time before the invasion, a child longing for the love of his parent...more
Audrey
A fellow writer in my critique group suggested I read this (and lent me her copy) because Eshkol Nevo tries something akin to what I am trying in my current work in progress: multiple first-person points of view.

My friend admitted that she hadn't made through the book, and I can understand why. It's a demanding read. I found the first 40-50 pages somewhat dizzying, as I was tossed from one character's point of view to another with no introduction. But I stuck with it and very soon found myself...more
Gordon
A truly excellent book. I picked up "Homesick" because I was curious to read an example of Israeli literature for an "insider's look" at the country and its culture. Nevo didn't disappoint: his sensitive handling of the Palestinian issue via the character Siddiq and unprejudiced description of the Orthodox-secular tension in one Jewish family are well worth reading for their own sakes. But far more important than either of these things is his sometimes touching, sometimes funny and always though...more
Luna
L'amore destabilizzante. Quello che se c'� soffoca, ma se ti allontani poi non vivi pi�. Libro complesso, una narrazione spezzata in 6 parti (almeno), i punti di vista di un ragazzino, di un uomo, di una donna, di un marito, di una moglie, e di un muratore. E ognuno di loro compone, raccontando senza pudore i propri sentimenti, questa storia, una storia semplice, un pezzo di vita quotidiana. Ambientato in un Israele dove i fanatici fanno la guerra, e le persone normali, che pure accoglierebbero...more
Ori Pilo Kerman
A book about love and relationships filled with Israeli essence of the year 1995, while in the background are the murder of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and the suicide bombers that terrorized the country. The story is being told by constantly switching the teller, whether it is a personal view of one of the characters or "the narrator". This is done in a very fluent way that just felt right.
Including many relevant issues of Israeli couples (and, of course, general issues that anyone can relate...more
Andy Chirls
Some people like books with connected, short vignettes about people whose lives intersect, and some people don't. I confess that I don't. The people were too predictable, and the development of the book became tedious. It was one of those books that I found myself skimming. The scene where the displaced Palestinian goes into his mother's former house was delicious, and i did laugh out loud. It was a bright spot in a book that seemed, for the most part, to be drab.
Alexander Lesher
A great read. Definitely reminded me of Amos Oz, but it is the focus of relationships in an area with such a unique chaos as a setting. Like another review I read, I did not want this to end and would like to continue my encounters with these characters. It took me a while before I recognized how the narrative was working as it could be a bit tricky, but I finally got a hold of it and it makes me consider going back and rereading the first50 pages.
Jeanne
Yet another wonderful book translated from Hebrew. I only wish my language skills were up to reading the originals. The translation is beautiful, it's lyrical and moving. The voices of the different characters are captured so well. The sense of longing in the book really got to me. Knowing the places and 'types' that are being written about definitely adds to the enjoyment.
Yaakov
This book is written very creatively, using multiple first- and third-hand accounts of a complex story about a small neighborhood in Kastel, a town outside of Jerusalem. At first the book seems to follow multiple diverging story lines; by the end of the book the stories have become intertwined. Darkly funny and slightly pessimistic, it is still a fun book to read.
Carolyn
I loved this book and am perhaps churlish not to give it 5 stars. It has a humour and honesty about life that it very engaging. The central theme of displacement is explored in fascinating ways and the narrative threads, including that of a boy in a grieving family, a psychiatry student's work and two young couple's relationships unfold brilliantly. Great.
Chandra
This book drew me in. The insight into each character's feelings and inner thoughts was very well developed. I enjoyed the layered stories in this novel. My favorite character was the guy writing from South America. My favorite scenes were those that described Noa's photography and her artistic views. Overall the novel is sensitive and intimate.
Carrie
Absolutely loved this book. It was exactly the book I was looking to read when I got back from Israel, and I finally found it. It's heartbreaking, hopeful, a bit maddening, yet full of humor. And I think the next time I have to talk about my feelings on West Bank settlements, I will just point people to Saddiq's story in this book.
Wendy
I really enjoyed reading this book! It was the first book I read after arriving home from Israel this summer and it was nice to get some perspective on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. I was prompted to do more research after I finished. I only gave it four stars before some of the language is graphic.
Suzanne
Enjoyed what I read of this quietlly meandering tale about about the various lives of inhabitants of a village between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv that was taken from its previous Arab inhabitants in 1948. Got halfway through and the pace just started to weigh it all down.
Adri
I really wanted to like this book, but I did not like the way the story is told. Very densely written with so many 'voices' to listen, following one on top of the other. So, I can give this 3 stars at the most.
Baljit
I found it terribly slow and choppy. There were too many characters and after a while the plot went off at a tangent.
Beatrice
I accidentally read a book written by a man. It wasn't so bad. Seriously it was quite good. I liked the way the characters' lives were interwoven. I love Yotam.
Elazar
I'm impressed by the deep level of sensitivity and psychological insight displayed by this author. Great book. It would have been better without the political content.
Rona
Started out good but petered out as it went along...it was very poorly translated..the English was really poor. This book might have been better in its original Hebrew..
Neta
Could not put it down. Finished in 3 days. Found each character relatable and the details of the story made me feel like I was right back in Israel.
Lauren B
I loved this book. The intertwined stories were compelling. The author was able to give a clear voice to the different characters
Strongly recommended
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“We were good together. Not in retrospect, not out of nostalgia. Not in anticipation. But here and now good. Very good.” 4 likes
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