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The Liberated Bride
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The Liberated Bride

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  394 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Yochanan Rivlin, a professor at Haifa University, is a man of boundless and often naïve curiosity. His wife, Hagit, a district judge, is tolerant of almost everything but her husband's faults and prevarications. Frequent arguments aside, they are a well-adjusted couple with two grown sons.
When one of Rivlin's students-a young Arab bride from a village in the Galilee-is ass
Paperback, 576 pages
Published October 4th 2004 by Mariner Books (first published 2001)
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Community Reviews

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I was taken by this novel from the first page. Set in 1990s Israel, the author follows a year in the life of a university professor from Haifa, an Orientalist of the old school and senior member of his department, untouched by post-colonial theory and Edward Said. Old fashioned and out of touch in other ways, he is still endearingly and sympathetically drawn, while he attempts ineffectually to unravel the mystery around the sudden end of his son's marriage to a young woman whose parents run a ho ...more
Jenny Brown
This book was brilliant. It's about the brides in the life of a professor of Orientalism, Rivlin, in Haifa: his wife, the bride who deserted his son after a year of marriage, and the Arabic woman who is his student and whose wedding he attends early on in the story.

I loved the way Yehoshua set up a mystery (why did Gayla leave Rivlin's son), and yet, this book should not be considered a mystery. The mystery is just a small part of the world Yehoshua creates, something that centers all the other
May 19, 2012 Rachael rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
And the award for most insufferable protagonist in a novel goes to.... The Liberated Bride! Mazel tov!

The Liberated Bride is the story of Rivlin, a middle-aged man who is singularly obsessed with his son's failed marriage. Although the divorce occurred five years prior to the story, Rivlin thinks of little else. Early in the story he begins a course of stalking his former in-laws and their longtime employee in a quest to find out what happened.

Intertwined is a secondary story about a Palestinia
Andy Oram
This novel contains many interesting vignettes, but doesn't work as a
novel. I was truly touched by the parents' disappointment and concern
over their son, but for this central device to be effective, the gap
between them would have to based on a more natural dilemma than the
bizarre secret chosen by Yehoshua. As an exploration of the problems
faced by sensitive Jews and Arabs, it is a worthwhile read.
After finishing this mammoth novel, I felt like the liberated reader. While I enjoyed the book at first, the author made the scope of his novel too large and ultimately unwieldy. Presumably about the nagging sadness felt by Yochanan Rivlin, a 10th-generation Jerusalmite and a Near Eastern Studies professor, about the mysterious break up of his son's one-year-old marriage, the author expands his tale to include sub-plots about the lives of one of his Arab students and her family; academic posturi ...more
About an Israeli professor in a desperate cause to understand the story of his son's failed marriage, a student's eccentric doings, the soul of Algerian politics, all the while his own life moves around him. I loved this book a lot especially for the characters. Yehoshua is excellent at bringing people to life. The writing is crisp and simple.
This is the first book I read from AB Yehoshua, and it started a fever. The plots are pretty simple, but his style and ability to convey emotions in almost a flat style is amazing.
Several characters interact, several points of view are presented, different persons speak. Why the author changes from third person to first is a mystery, and it does not improve the narrative. There are snatches of Arabic, though they are accompanied by marks and translated at the bottom of the page. Certain details, repeated over and over, become irritating. How many times must we be reminded that the cousin of the M.A. student who lies and manipulates the professor in order to get a grade is ...more
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Another loaner from Dad. This is one of those "middle aged man, steeped in academia, disgruntled with his life, some things go wrong, some things tempt him, the week seems to spiral downward..." books I can so often be found reading, although set in the Israel, not a place you have often found me reading about. He is described online as "an Israeli Faulkner" and you will find that there are stories within stories in this book. Father-son relationships, husband-wife relationships, Israeli-Arab re ...more
claudio pagani
Per qualche mese durante il mio periodo pennsylvano ho diviso un piccolo appartamento al 1006 di Pugh Street, a due passi dall’universita’, con un (ex)-blogger, e quando la sua tipa MM una volta venne a trovarci mi regalo’ il primo romanzo di questo Yehoshua, l’Amante. Ma allora questo autore mi era sconosciuto, e cosi’ prima che mi decidessi a leggerlo son passati anni (anche se avrei dovuto fidarmi, questa MM che me l’ha regalato e’ una tipa che definire brillante e’ poco). Comunque, l’Amante ...more
Dec 04, 2008 Jeffrey rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jeffrey by: Sam? Dennis?
I am afraid that I really don't know what to make of this book. I have previously enjoyed A.B. Yehoshua, especially A Journey to the End of the Millenium which I found very sensuous and beautiful in translation. The Liberated Bride, in contrast, seems a bit stilted, with descriptive phrases often repeated. The main character is an Orientalist in the Hebrew University in Haifa. he reminds me of Larry David. His single minded pursuit of his interests alienates his wife and his son and amuses or ho ...more
Insight into the mind of a Israeli liberal family... full of gentle, patronizing racism; the misplaced gentility of the colonizer; and beautiful stolen landscapes... and an odd look at "The Palestinian" through the eye of an Orientalist (which apparently describes both the character and the author himself) who really pries for details about why Palestinians are who they are -- but is stumped in the end.

Without knowing enough about the academic battles over Orientalism to know how the book relate
It took me time to get into the book. I'd wanted to read it for a long time there were many things I enjoyed about the book. The descriptive narrative was very rich. The excepts of Arabic poetry breath takingly beautiful. It posed many moral questions that left me uncomfortable. It came me no answers. It seemed to me that the core of this book was about a moral position. I also didn't warm to Prof Rivlin he was self obsessed I wonder if the writer is commenting on Israeli society being self obse ...more
Sep 15, 2008 Deborah rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mark, Dottie
Rivlin is not necessarily a likable man. Middle-aged, a professor of "Orientalism" at a University in Haifa, he is self-involved, set in his ways, cranky and obsessed with discovering the "truth" about the break-up, after just a year, of his son's marriage. This obsession leads him to stalk his former in-laws (grilling his ex daughter-in-law while she is sitting shiva for her father), trying to discover the truth. It's a testament to Yehoshua's storytelling (with kudos to translator Hillel Halki ...more
Yehoshua wrote this book after the first Intifada, but before the second. Because I do not clearly understand Israel, the Palestinian Conflicts, the Arabs, I had some problems following the politics. This book left me, a non-Jew, with many questions. But on a purely entertainment level I enjoyed the book, especially the historian-husband-father, Rivlin, and his bumbling ways. Somehow the weaving of all the plots came together in the end. I became bogged down by the book 3/4 of the way into it, a ...more
A funny book that I can't quite get my brain around. Parts of it definitely a 4 others more of a 3.5, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt. There was much to love about this book--the characters were all strong and memorable as well as the story that carried them forward. I found myself laughing out-loud at Rivlin's obsessive quest to find out what happened to his son's failed marriage. His journey's were also entertaining. The story would fall apart for me when it got into the more politic ...more
Lacy Katherine
The most interesting part of this book is the fact that it's written from the perspective of contemporary daily life in Israel. Reading the Jewish professor's fascination with Arabs is really surprising and fascinating to me. It really opened my eyes to the dynamic between these two cultures that I usually only hear about fighting bitterly.
Several times I wondered about the comparison of Jews and Arabs (as depicted in this book) and the racial tensions between them and racial tension in the Sta
The most interesting part of this book is the fact that it's written from the perspective of contemporary daily life in Israel. Reading the Jewish professor's fascination with Arabs is really surprising and fascinating to me. It really opened my eyes to the dynamic between these two cultures that I usually only hear about fighting bitterly.
Several times I wondered about the comparison of Jews and Arabs (as depicted in this book) and the racial tensions between them and racial tension in the Sta
La letteratura israeliana ancora una volta non mi ha deluso. Libro bellissimo, ricco di sentimenti, di significati. Invidia � una delle parole chiave di questo libro e viene ripetuta pi� volte fina dall'inizio. E' davvero l'invidia che spinge Rivlin a non sopportare i matrimoni arabi, i viaggi della moglie, la malattia del collega e lo induce a scavare nel passato, come sostiene la moglie Haghit? Un'altra parola chiave � ricerca: ricerca della verit�, una verit� scomoda che tutti cercano di nasc ...more
This is the second book I've read by Yehoshua, so I had an idea what I was getting into: A multi - layered, elaborate and laborious novel. Immersing myself in it was quite a challenge: A plot that deals with many themes that merge every now and then. Themes that dwell mostly on interactions: between Jews and Arabs, family members, cultures and academics among others. It left me unfulfilled a bit despite some big chunks of great writing, and also tired. I wish it was more than average, so it coul ...more
"L'amante" mi aveva conquistato ed affascinato per la nitidezza dei protagonisti sul palcoscenico. Qua invece il professor Rivlin cerca il perchè senza sapere il perchè. Mille rivoli stanchi invece di un vero fiume in piena.
Even thought I missed the meeting for the book club (I was working), I still am enjoying this book. It's an interesting look at life modern day Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Central to the book are a middle aged couple, and the husband, who is obsessed with finding out the reason for his son's divorce. Compelling and finely wrought.
Update: I'm almost done with this! It's been a long haul reading it.
This is a tale with many threads and, perhaps, of many brides... it begins with a wedding and concludes with a reconciliation, of a sort. In between, a father searches for answers to his son's abrupt divorce while also following tangential narratives that implicate Arab-Israeli relations, academic barriers, and metaphorical and actual borders that separate families, cultures and possibilities.
Daughters Of Abraham
This story of relationships between an Israeli family and a Palestinian family is a beautifully nuanced narrative, but was difficult for our group to interpret and have a fruitful discussion given the political sensitivities of this volatile area of the world, and the difficulty figuring out the point of view of the author. I would not recommend this book for the Daughters.
A fabulous book! Set in Israel. A history professor and his wife, a judge, and the obssession Rivlin has with finding out why his son's marriage ended five years earlier. Interactions with Arabs, which apparently is rare, take place, along with numerous cultural events. Great insight into some aspects of modern Hebrew and Arab life--most of it so ordinarily like our own.
This was the first book by Yehoshua that I read (yes, it was the cover art that caught my eye in the library - I confess) and it got me hooked. While his books are not "quick reads" they are completely worthwhile and I have greatly enjoyed his perspective on the history and present-day realities of Israel and the region. His characterizations are outstanding.
Senza dubbio �� ben scritto e la metafora sottesa �� interessante e ben congegnata. Tuttavia, l'ho trovato un po' prolisso e la vicenda in s�� non mi ha appassionato pi�� di tanto. Anzi, umanamente il personaggio di Rivlin e la sua ossessione per il divorzio del figlio mi hanno infastidito.
A solid five star book. The mystery of the break up of Professor Rivlin’s eldest son’s marriage is intriguing and the richness of the writing made me want to “savour” the book. Not an easy read but a literary gem. I also enjoyed the insight into the Jewish Arab conflict in Israel.
Ayelet Waldman
The problem with reading a novel translated from a language you know is that you keep untranslating it. Anyway, this book is very good. Remarkable insights into contemporary Israeli society. And the most loathsome main character I've come across in a good long while. I hated him.
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A. B. Yehoshua is one of Israel's preeminent writers. His novels include A Journey to the End of the Millenium, The Liberated Bride, and A Woman in Jerusalem, which was awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in 2007. He lives in Haifa.
More about Abraham B. Yehoshua...
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