Drawing in the Dust: A Novel
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Drawing in the Dust: A Novel

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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  701 ratings  ·  166 reviews
Brilliant archaeologist Page Brookstone is convinced bones speak, yet none of the ancient remnants she has unearthed during her twelve years of toiling at Israel's storied battlegrounds of Megiddo has delivered the life-altering message she so craves. Which is why the story of Ibrahim and Aisha Barakat, a young Arab couple who implore Page to excavate the grounds beneath t...more
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Published August 17th 2009 by Tantor Media (first published June 30th 2009)
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Cinnamon
DRAWING IN THE DUST by Zoë Klein is a magical and fully romantic read. I went into the book figuring that I would find a great story and found something so full of wonder and color that my brain is still swirling with the beauty of it. Much as a fairy tale leaves frosting and pixie dust floating about the head, DRAWING IN THE DUST leaves warmth and happiness surrounding you like a soft blanket fresh out of the dryer. I am absolutely ecstatic to share this review with you today and hope that it e...more
Bridget
Drawing in the Dust is the story of a Page, a woman who spends her days uncovering the past. She is a very talented archaeologist but is somewhat bored with her current situation. She's in Mediggo and searching to figure out life's mysteries. A couple comes to her in need of help. They see love making ghosts in their home. Page is skeptical but intrigued. She makes a visit to their home and feelings overcome her that she thought were buried. She leaves in a hurry but is drawn back to this home a...more
Alexandra
This is an interesting book. Klein is good at writing with a compeltely religious undercurrent without making things too heavy handed. Some people might take this book to be alot more then fiction but in my minds eye as I read it,it was pure fiction to me but very well written fiction I might add. I liked the Love story element to the book but I felt like Page and Mortchia's relationship did not hold the same passion and intrigue as Jermiah and Anitya's at the same time Anitya at times seemed mo...more
Julie (jjmachshev)
The back-cover blurb is what drew my attention to this book since this is my first read by author Zoe Klein. The story has strong mystical components as well as many references to the story of the Biblical prophet Jeremiah. Readers who are unfamiliar with Jeremiah's story may find it hard going, but I didn't have any problems.

Page is an American archaeologist who has been working in Israel for more than a decade on the excavations at Megiddo. She likes her work, but is realizing a sense of dissa...more
Margaret
This book almost made it to the "Abandoned" list, but I forged ahead. What bumped it from 1 to 2 stars are that the story mostly takes place in Israel and that archeology is one of the themes; so, two interesting subjects. However, the first person narrator, a young 40's going on 15 year old female archeologist, is one of the more annoying characters with whom I've ever spent time, and that, among other things, makes it a tough read. The jacket brags that readers of "The Red Tent" will like this...more
Jill Furedy
I'm a couple years late on getting around to this one: I was reading an ARC version of this book (yes, an advance reader copy, over three years after its release), in which Page goes to an archeological dig in the home of Ibrahim and Naima. But in reading other reviews, it sounds like Naima's name changed to Aisha in the published version. Which makes me wonder if anything else changed. However, I'll forge ahead and assume what I read was much the same as what everyone else read.
Page is a litt...more
Eileen Souza
This was an ok book, but not great. Honestly, I think my problem started because the book cover sounded so fascinating, and so I peeped at the back of the book at the author's acknowledgments before I started reading, and subsequently found out that the author had written the Scrolls of Anatiya (yes, I'm secular enough that I would never have known that) and even though those scrolls wound up becoming a prevalent part of the book, I just felt that it was conceited to then write a whole book abou...more
Heather
I was pleasantly surprised by this book, and loved every minute of reading it. Zoe Klein weaves a beautiful story! The writing itself was incredibly creative and inspiring. The story is fictional, yet I had a hard time not wishing it was true.

The story follows Page, an archaeologist in Israel. She goes against all of the advice from her peers and begins investigating a site that has been ridiculed for it's supposed ghost stories. What follows is an incredible find that leaves the whole world re...more
Emily
This was a well-constructed book about Biblical archaeology and love. Certainly two things that are of interest to me. It focused on the prophet Jeremiah, which is one I don't really know much about. Half-way through the book, I did skim through his book in the Bible, but really, Klein gives readers all they need to know in her book. The excellent construction comes from Klein's extensive knowledge of the subjects, and her obvious desire to keep learning about them and sharing them with others....more
Judy Chessin
I reread this for a class on Jeremiah that I am teaching. As before, I found many of the ideas magical and lyrical. While this is a fairy tale on so many levels... (Why can't we all get along?) I did like the idea of bringing Jeremiah to life. I won't ever see the prophet the same way, alhtough I am not sure that he really did find the love of his life, other than his Divine mission. As for so many prophets, home life, in actuality suffers. So this is a nice fantasy, but not a realistic noveliz...more
Renee
At the solid and good chapters, this book reminded me slightly of the Jewish version of the Da Vinci Code, and at other times, it just seemed plain silly. This book gives insight into the world of biblical excavation in Israel and focus on an American archeologist named Page Brookstone who uncovers murals, artifacts and remains suggestive of the prophet Jeremiah, buried with the woman he loved, Anatiya, who also has left a manuscript that parallels the Book of Jeremiah.
Nathalie
I thought the book had a lot of potential. The ghost story being set in Israel is what appealed to me, however the characters were not believable. I felt the main character did not act as a grown woman would- she was a permanent child. The dialogue was a bit pretentious at times, it seemed like Klein was trying too hard. There were a few great one liners, but I wouldn't tell people to waste their time reading this debut.
Linda
I was a little hesitant to read this book, because on the back it says it is like the Red Tent, a book I didn't enjoy.. But I really like this one. I loved the character Page and the way she developed over the course of the book. I enjoyed all the details of Isreal and learning more about that culture. I really liked Zoe's writing style. It is pleasant to read--and I loved the ending.
Ksab
A beautiful story set in Israel involving the finding of the Prophet Jeremiah and his fictitious lover/prophetess entombed in an embrace in the basement of an Arab couple. A beautiful story chronicalling,exploring,protecting,promoting and poetically expressing-love which crosses religious,theological,cultural,and political barriers!!
Lola McGee
The plot is a good, solid adventure. It will appeal to book lovers and history buffs, and while there are romantic subplots it is (for the most part) graciously free of plodding love scenes describing heaving breasts. The main character, Page, is fantastically conceived, independent and self-reliant, and is compelling enough that I enjoy following the story alongside her.

For the most part, Klein's writing is brilliant, but there are points where the narrative seems to skip sentences and reach l...more
Liz
It was okay but a bit preachy in some ways.
Sharon
Zoe Klein's "Drawing in the Dust" starts off at Megiddo, with archaeologist Page Brookstone examining yet another set of infant remains and being somewhat dissatisfied with her lot. Enter Ibrahim and Naima, who have been visiting every archaeology site in the area to talk about the ghosts in their home. Dismissed as kooks by all and sundry, Ibrahim and Naima refuse to be dissuaded in their quest. Even Page sends them away, but then her curiosity gets the best of her. This curiosity leads her to...more
Olga
For a while now I've been reading books that have been recommended by someone, somewhere, somehow. The Drawing In The Dust is my first foray into unchartered territories in a very, very long time and fortunately it didn't disappoint. As a fan of anything paranormal I was attracted to the book by the blurb that promised ghostly presences and the setting - Zoe Klein takes us to Israel, to the world of rich history, archaeological digs and long-lost treasures, the only place on earth where people r...more
Susan
In her accomplished first novel, Rabbi Zoe Klein gives a mystical way into the book of Jeremiah, Biblical archeology, and the human comedy of Christians, Jews and Palestinian Arabs living close to each other in Israel. The fun begins when a stagnating American archeologist named Page Brookstone gets hooked into excavating under the house of two educated Arabs. In the new dig, Page releases her own demons and the two amorous ghosts her Arab friends had promised.

I will confine myself to Rabbi Kl...more
Jan
Most of what I know about archaeology I learned from the Indiana Jones movies. I don't really have much interest in the various world's religions including the one I was raised with. So I was surprised when I was completely taken with this book. I couldn't put it down.
It is the story of two forbidden loves, one modern and one ancient. Archaeologist Page Brookstone is on a dig in Megiddo, Israel when she is asked to excavate the grounds beneath the house of Ibrahim and Aisha Barakat. They say the...more
Robin Scharff
I liked this, but the nearest thing to it in terms of plot is Geraldine Brooks' People of the Book, which is better, IMO. I don't mind the liberties taken with Jeremiah's story -- after all, we have no idea, thousands of years later, how much truth is in the Biblical/Torah stories. Klein didn't go into any areas anyone could object to -- of course, it's entirely possible Jeremiah had a lover. I think Klein, as a newer author, is maybe a little less confident than Brooks. My other problem with it...more
Nely
Page Brookstone is an American archeologist who has been working in Israel for the past decade. She loves her job excavating a dig in Megiddo but is in a slump in life. She is also in a rather uncomfortable situation with one of her co-workers and his feelings for her, and is stressed about it. So when a Palestenian couple, Ibrahim and Naima, approach her with a ghost story curiousity gets the better of her and she ends up investigating their claims on her day off. To her surprise, she finds a c...more
Julie
This book had so many great aspects to it: biblical archaeology, Israeli politics and Middle Eastern conflict, strong characters, and palatable romance. An Arab couple seeks the help of archaeologist Page Brookstone to investigate their house, which they claim is haunted by two very passionate lovers. Overcoming her own skepticism, Page takes a huge career risk when she abandons her excavations at Megiddo to dig in a suburban living room. She discovers not only the tomb of the Prophet Jeremiah,...more
thewanderingjew
The book surprised me because I didn't expect the story to unfold as it did since it was written by a Rabbi. Rabbi Zoe Klein is apparently an open minded, modern Rabbi who portrays and develops her characters with an honesty I would have expected more from a secular author. It is a book about discovery, archeological, religious and personal. It is a book about love with all of its ramifications. I liked it especially because of its unexpected turn of events. We follow the main character as she p...more
Cheryl
A book about archeology, Israel, the complex relationship between the Israelis and Arabs, ghosts and spirits, religion, love, friendship, and written by a rabbi! the only thing missing was nature worship for it to be my perfect book... An archeologist in Israel finds the prophet Jeremiah's remains as well as a scroll written by his female scribe who also is in love with him. The scroll mirrors his prophecies but also paints a vivid portrait of unrequited love.

There are passages where the archeo...more
Harvee
Drawing in the Dust is a fictional love story told by a young archaeologist in Israel who discovers the bones of the prophet Jeremiah entwined with those of an unknown woman, Anatiya. The archaeologist Page Brookstone, a New Yorker, finds the bones and the scrolls of Anatiya in a cistern hidden under the house of an Arab couple who had begged her to excavate under the house. There were ghosts there - lovers, they claimed.

Page fights to bring Anatiya's scrolls to light, to be available to all sch...more
Dee
I have to admit, normally, books that involve religion or religious topics make me go running for the hills. Yet, the overall premise of this one was interesting, more so because of the archeology aspect than the religious aspect. Page Brookstone is a biblical archeologist, and has spent a good portion of her career conducting digs in Israel searching for biblical artifacts. She is approached by a couple who claim that their house is haunted and would like an archeologist to check it out, to her...more
Rachel
This is an astounding book with such a utopian vision for Israel and the world. I’m struck at the atmosphere that Zoe creates in the Bakarat house, where people can fall in love and form deep bonds of friendship despite the political struggles waging outside.

The writing was rich and luxurious and certainly reawakened my own unsought dream of becoming an archeologist, digging in Israel’s vibrant soil. You could tell that Zoe was a biblical scholar, and took a lot of care in creating this “modern...more
Amy
When I read the cover-flap of this book, I was prepared to be let down. I couldn't decide whether it was going to be a great book or a silly, boring romance. I was intrigued by the idea that it had been written by a female rabbi with an interest in liturgy. It definitely was worth the read. Klein's style is very lyrical and her imagery is startling (I especially loved the idea of a sunrise as the earth wearing a tiara!) At times, I was completely frustrated with the main character, who seems chi...more
Alejandra
Ok: here's the thing... I started reading it and thought it was very good: the characters were interesting and the story was getting me hooked. It's about this archaeologist that unearths Jeremiah's tomb, who happens to be buried with a woman named Anatiya. She also finds several scrolls that Anatiya wrote, so she begins the translation. All the while, there's this relationship evolving between her and a man and all the dangers that making such an archaeological discovery conveys.
All this was go...more
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Drawing In the Dust The Scroll of Anatiya drawing in the dust

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“Maybe the face of the one you love reflects you better than your own face.” 4 likes
“Rather let my left hand take my right hand captive than witness one nation enslave and demolish another. Rather let my heart drag my feet away in chains than witness one ruler flex at the expense of another. Let the flags of nations be white and blank and lifted in the great surrender of humanity.
The Scroll of Anatiya 25:3436”
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