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The Liberated Bride

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3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  508 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
Yochanan Rivlin, a professor of Near Eastern Studies at Haifa University, is equally determined to understand the causes of the Algerian civil war of the 1990s and the mystery of his son's divorce. His is a double search for truth, each involving a different bride - Samaher, his own research assistant, an ambitious Arab newlywed from a village in the Galilee, and Galya, wh ...more
Paperback, 576 pages
Published October 4th 2004 by Mariner Books (first published 2001)
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Simona
Aug 11, 2016 Simona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Non il tempo, ma la verità permette di liberarsi dalle trappole”.

Ed è proprio da questa semplice citazione che il libro ha inizio. Ed è proprio la verità che cerca Rivlin, il protagonista di questo romanzo di Yehoshua. Rivlin cerca la verità, la verità che dia le giuste risposte e le certezze a quanto è successo al figlio e al suo divorzio dopo un anno di matrimonio con la bella Galia.
Rivlin è uno studioso, un professore di storia mediorientale, che, proprio come la sua passione richiede, ha bi
...more
Rachael
Nov 09, 2011 Rachael rated it it was ok  ·  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
...more
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.
Ron
Apr 29, 2012 Ron rated it it was amazing
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
Jennifer S. Brown
Jun 23, 2009 Jennifer S. Brown rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jewish-books, israel
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
...more
Nadeya
Jun 17, 2015 Nadeya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
E' la storia di una ricerca ossessiva della verità, di una tenace curiosità di conoscenza della realtà, attraverso l'analisi attenta del passato, sia su un piano individuale, familiare, sia su un piano storico e sociale.
Sullo sfondo il conflitto arabo-israeliano ed i rapporti tra i due popoli obbligati alla condivisione, descritti con sincerità da un intellettuale libero, da anni impegnato socialmente per la pace. E una serie di storie individuali, di drammi familiari, di problemi esistenziali
...more
Daniel
May 24, 2014 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Andy Oram
Oct 17, 2009 Andy Oram rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
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.
Andrew
Jul 07, 2007 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: israeli
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.
Sylvia
Sep 14, 2007 Sylvia rated it it was amazing
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.
Judy
Dec 07, 2014 Judy rated it liked it
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
claudio pagani
Oct 09, 2012 claudio pagani rated it it was amazing
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
Judy
May 02, 2013 Judy rated it really liked it
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
Diana
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Francesca
Dec 02, 2015 Francesca rated it it was amazing
Quanto è grande Rivlin?
Quanto può esserlo ogni essere umano, ogni padre in cerca di risposte al dolore di un figlio. Con l’ostinazione di volerlo liberare da un giogo insopportabile che gli impedisce di vivere appieno la sua vita, di (ri)costruirsi un futuro. E va contro il desiderio di indipendenza di quel figlio, che gli chiede di smetterla con le domande, di riporre in un angolo la rabbia e la voglia di far luce su una sofferenza a cui solo il tempo può dare sollievo. Ma, Rivlin sostiene, non
...more
Carolyn
Dec 20, 2012 Carolyn rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, academia
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
Jeffrey
Dec 03, 2008 Jeffrey rated it it was ok
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
Emmaia
Mar 10, 2008 Emmaia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Deborah
Aug 23, 2008 Deborah rated it really liked it
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
Alexrebuck
Jan 06, 2014 Alexrebuck rated it really liked it
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
HannaSchygulla
Rivlin, professore di storia mediorentale all'università di Haifa, è ossessionato dall'inspiegato divorzio del figlio a un anno dalle nozze. Questo lo porta a non smettere di indagare sulle cause e a interrogarsi sulle dinamiche che caratterizzano i rapporti di coppia. La sua storia si interseca con altre, tra unioni solide e unioni naufragate, di personaggi che conducono una vita normale in un paese tormentato dalla guerra e dalla morte.
E in questa attenta analisi del matrimonio si riflettono a
...more
Sandra
Apr 21, 2009 Sandra rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
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
Rachael
Feb 27, 2009 Rachael rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2010, israel
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
Sep 05, 2007 Lacy Katherine rated it liked it
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
...more
Kia76
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
Lacy
Sep 05, 2007 Lacy rated it liked it
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
...more
Lisa
Feb 07, 2008 Lisa rated it really liked it
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.
Pbwritr
Dec 23, 2009 Pbwritr rated it it was amazing
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.
Julia
Jul 31, 2007 Julia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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.
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.
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Abraham B. Yehoshua (אברהם ב. יהושע) 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.
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