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The Confessions of Noa Weber

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3.30  ·  Rating Details  ·  117 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Acclaimed author Noa Weber has a successful “feminist” life: a strong career, a wonderful daughter she raised alone, and she is a recognized and respected cultural figure. Yet her interior life is bound by her obsessive love for one man—Alek, a Russian émigré and the father of her child, who has drifted in and out of her life.

Trying to understand—as well as free herself fr
...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 10th 2009 by Melville House (first published January 1st 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 532)
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Amy
May 25, 2010 Amy rated it liked it


Noa Weber is a wealthy, single woman who late in life decides to write her memoirs. She’s been a single mother and a successful novelist, but her life is most marked by her obsession with a Russian Jew named Alek. Their relationship is filled with complications and at many times is completely one sided on her part: Alek has a full life without her. Noa’s life experience is more complex than most. Her attempt to recall her past motivations and experiences is problematic: “There’s a kind of lie in
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Lewis Manalo
Apr 11, 2010 Lewis Manalo rated it really liked it
Noa Weber is a lady obsessed with her baby daddy. She's straight addicted to him, which may not be a new story, but this is the first time I've ever heard the story told from the point of view of a feminist Israeli woman.

Just as Noa contends with her identity as a feminist who's whipped, she also delves into the ironies and hypocrisies of Israeli identity, of a youth as a Commie, and of motherhood.

Noa's voice was difficult to get used to, but once you realize how self-effacing it is, she becomes
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Robert Wechsler
May 26, 2016 Robert Wechsler marked it as tasted
Shelves: israeli-lit
This novel has many of the virtues, and lacks thereof, of Hareven's Lies, First Person, but the balance this time was not quite right for me. The voice was every bit as excellent (and well-translated — even less annoying), but the novel’s structure didn’t work as well for me, which let the content pour through (and the content interested me less). Unlike Lies, therefore, I was less and less caught up in the narrator’s singular mind. A third of the way through, I decided to move on. But others, e ...more
Ronald Morton
Feb 24, 2016 Ronald Morton rated it liked it
Shelves: hebrew
This was good.

If that sounds dismissive then so be it – the book was well written, at times it was very well written, and (I can only assume as I don’t speak the original language) well translated – but I’m of the opinion that, for the most part, if I can summarize a book’s plot in three basic sentences and not leave anything of significance out, than I probably am not going to think very highly of the book, no matter how well written it might be. This likely speaks more of me as a reader, and m
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Kiessa
Mar 15, 2013 Kiessa rated it it was ok
Around the World in 52 Books: Israel

This award-winning translated novel by feminist author Gail Hareven of Israel is one that provoked a mixed and wide range of emotions in me.

Forty-seven year-old Noa Weber has spent 29 years actively, but secretly, consumed by obsessive "love" for a man who does not return her "love." I use the word love only because she did. At numerous points throughout the book I had to wonder if the character's "love" could more aptly be described as a powerful combination
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Melville House Publishing
Acclaimed middle-aged writer Noa Weber—acclaimed both as a writer and as one of Israel’s leading feminists—has all the trappings of a successful “feminist” life: She has a strong career, a wonderful daughter she raised alone, and she’s a respected cultural figure. Yet her interior life is inextricably bound by her love for a man—Alek, a Russian émigré and the father of her child, who, over the years, has drifted in and out of her life.

Trying to understand—as well as free herself from—this lifelo
...more
Daisy
Jun 28, 2010 Daisy rated it liked it
Recommended to Daisy by: Amy Henry
It's honest. And readable and interesting and I had a good time with it. 3 1/2 stars.
Noa is a contradiction. She's intellectual and analytical and practical about life and love and all that goes with it. But it spite of that, a phrase she uses often, she's completely taken over by the love and obsession and longing for one man. (She even wonders at one point if she can say anything new about longing. Apparently she can--300+ pages of it).
I kept thinking it's kind of an unremarkable story told in
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Sharlene
Feb 08, 2012 Sharlene rated it liked it
I have a love-hate affair with Overdrive. I love that I can borrow and return books without having to leave my bed. It’s got a pretty good selection – you should see my ‘wish list’ (where I’ve added books to read). But it also sucks – I can’t highlight passages, I can only bookmark pages. I know it’s a borrowed e-book but I would love to be able to highlight sections of the book to come back to later when I’m writing my review. But no…. just bookmarks, no highlighting, no note-taking.

So here I a
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Jean Kelly
Feb 24, 2015 Jean Kelly rated it really liked it
This seemed to be a story from beginning to end that deals with the question of love - a young girl falls for a somewhat older man, has a child, married for less than romantic reasons. She seems to know from the beginning that he doesn't love her yet she spends all of the rest of her life is a relationship of sorts with him and this love is the be all and end all for her. Sadly, I did find the sentiment familiar and with a disturbing ring of truth.
Susann
Apr 21, 2010 Susann rated it liked it
Shelves: idlewild
3.5 stars. Noa has been obsessed with the same man for 30 years. How do I know she has a true addiction to Alek? Because when she talks about him, she sounds eerily similar to Heidi Fleiss talking about her drug addiction on "Celebrity Rehab." (One never knows where one's guilty TV pleasure will take one.)

Noa is full of contradictions. Even though her 30-year obsession is clearly not healthy, she doesn't come across as a victim. Her addiction seems both out of her control and a conscious choice.
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Jennifer
Feb 10, 2012 Jennifer rated it did not like it
I finished this award-winning book overwhelmed with loathing and fury that its author is touted as a "feminist" writer. Essentially, it consists of a first-person monologue of an obsessive personality detailing over far too many excruciating pages her decades-long preoccupation with an absolutely contemptible love-interest. I found it impossible to separate the author from her character and find each unforgivable. That the character Noa Weber achieves career success and literary recognition in h ...more
Dana
Feb 19, 2010 Dana rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Noa Weber is a successful Israeli author of crime thrillers that feature a female-lawyer version of James Bond, Nira Woolf. Now, however, she is sitting down to write a confession of her all-consuming unrequited love for Alek, which has ruled her life.

This is the first book translated into English by Israeli author Gail Hareven. Hareven certainly has a way with words, although credit should also go to her translator, Dalya Bilu. The writing in this book pulled me in from the first page, and it w
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Barbara Cunningham
Mar 24, 2016 Barbara Cunningham rated it really liked it
I'm of two minds with this book- I enjoyed the writing style and the setting of the story thus the 4th star); but had a hard time respecting Noa and the unbelievable obsession she had with Alek. I got it when she was an adolescent girl- not so much when she was a mature and accomplished woman. I kind of lost interest(respect) for her in the last quarter of the book- but was mostly intrigued prior to that- hoping she would come to her senses.
Silvia
Sep 18, 2012 Silvia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fremevo dalla curiosità di leggere Le confessioni di Noa Weber senza sapere bene perché. Forse perché mi sono resa conto di non poter sempre leggere autori maschi. Forse perché non vedevo l’ora di leggere un ebook de La Giuntina. Forse perché speravo, non invano, di ritrovare un’eco della scrittura onesta e limpida di Shulim Vogelman, che ha tradotto il libro. Forse perché mi attirava la copertina, con queste splendide labbra leggermente imbronciate colorate di verde.

Ad ogni modo, non a torto fr
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Irving
Oct 14, 2013 Irving rated it it was amazing
This story about Moa Weber os about a liberal who lives in Israel, Basically it 's abou Noa, Alex, her husband and lover. She is fixated on him toe degree to adegree. They
are married but he doen''t love her but respects her. He is a traveler that's in and out of her bed while trafeling around Europe while sleeping with other women and having children, He has a daughter, Hagur,. who he not attched to nor does he ignore her. .
Noa is a bright women, lawyer, and a famous author. Is love blind?

Merg
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Marianne
Beautiful writing

Following Noa's story with Alek was painful at times because I think everyone has had similar relationships even if shorter in duration or slightly less intense. Still, I enjoyed her story.
Debbie
Mar 12, 2015 Debbie rated it liked it
Yes, you do understand the obsession and get drawn into it, and even maybe understand that this kind of love is built on very little so there won't be anything to report other that the diffuse and ethereal, but the book kind of dragged.
Enjoyed the Israeli details.
August Bourré
Mar 13, 2012 August Bourré rated it really liked it
Perhaps the best thing I've read about obsessive love, if only because Noa Weber's love for Alek is not just felt, it is thought and understood, the obsession acknowledged and weaved deliberately into the fabric of her life rather than dismissed or reviled or 'worked on' in some way. For every moment where Noa looks pathetic for loving so undeserving a man as Alek with such blind intensity, there are a dozen that make her look triumphant and wise.

Hareven rambles a bit, and the book has a tendenc
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Lauren Albert
Dec 14, 2009 Lauren Albert rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Beautiful and compelling book about a woman's obsession with a man. Hareven enables the reader to see how one can live in two selves--one which behaves and the other which sees and judges the behavior. The narrator's story is a great example about how our lives are often shaped positively by seemingly negative events or behaviors. The book shows the complexity of human emotion and behavior.
Ilana Diamant
Sep 19, 2010 Ilana Diamant rated it it was ok
Portrait of a/the female writer as a possessed individual.
NOT to be read in one sitting!
Possessed = lovesick and love tortured, self-involved and self-loathing, naive and serious.
I disagree though with the author's "prescription" that contempt whether from others or the self can help in such cases. If it did, many therapists would be out of business.
Katie
Feb 07, 2011 Katie rated it it was amazing
I heard about this one on NPR's book segment, and instantly wanted to read it. I wasn't disappointed, and had to keep reminding myself that it was a translation, because at times the language was so precise and evocative that I marveled at what it must be like to read it in its original Hebrew. This book will move you.

Re-read February 2011.
Don Hackett
Oct 11, 2012 Don Hackett rated it really liked it
This book makes a good pair with The Bad Girl, by Vargas Llosa: Obsessive loves fragmented across recent history, one of a man for a woman, and this book of a woman for a man. I might have given The Bad Girl 5 stars because the male perspective touches me closer to my heart, but they are both very good books.
Shannon
Apr 21, 2009 Shannon rated it it was amazing
This might be the best thing I've read it years!!! I think I will make it (and me) sound dumb if I try to elaborate. This is the only book by Gail Hareven (an Israeli author) that's been translated into English, and you should all read it.
Erika Dreifus
Terrific book. Was so glad to see it win an award for Best Translated Fiction this year. See my early take on it here/
Heather
Jun 18, 2009 Heather rated it really liked it
A strange and lovely book. Noa Weber was alternately a sympathetic and vaguely repulsive character, but she was compelling and interesting at all times.
Elizabeth
Feb 04, 2010 Elizabeth rated it liked it
I kept waiting for something to happen. Some beautiful passages... the book perfectly captures the feeling of suspended time and waiting
Kari
Apr 04, 2010 Kari rated it liked it
Shelves: idlewild
Interesting ideas, just dragged on about 200 pages too long. I didn't find any passages worthy of an underline past page 140.
Jessica Zu
Jan 02, 2012 Jessica Zu rated it really liked it
Shelves: leisure, translation
"A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." Hareven certainly knows how to write without any paradox!
Ariellering
Mar 05, 2010 Ariellering rated it did not like it
Perhaps it was the translation, but the prose was insipid and forced. Not a compelling read.
Virginia
May 29, 2009 Virginia rated it it was ok
Didn't finish- good idea but just couldn't get into the obsessive lover angle.
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Gail Haraven is a writer from Israel. She is the author of six novels and three short story collections, as well as plays and nonfiction. She was awarded the prestigious Sapir Prize for Literature for The Confessions of Noa Weber, and currently lives in Jerusalem. The Confessions of Noa Weber is her first book translated into English.
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“Love can be described as compulsive thinking. Compulsive thinking latches on to details and dwells on them as if they hold enormous significance which cannot be grasped in a moment.” 2 likes
“Sometimes you have to stick your finger down your throat and vomit up the disgusting insides of the self... sometimes you have to increase the nausea in order to get rid of the disgust...” 2 likes
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