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The Covenant

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  1,103 ratings  ·  114 reviews
Living in Jerusalem, Elise Margulies fears for the lives of her husband and daughter every day. Then comes the day when her worst fears come true. Cancer specialist Dr. Jonathan Margulies drives his young daughter home from her ballet recital. His bullet-ridden car is found empty on the side of the road hours later. Elise, in the last stages of a difficult pregnancy, despe ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2004)
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I am stopping on page 101. Shame on Naomi Ragen! Her writing in "The Covenenat" is a mockery of every possible point of view or any belief system that could be held by any character in this book or by anyone reading this book. So many events and peoples from history long past and some not long past and the present have been tainted by the meandering "Holywood-ization" of so much that is sacred and vile and human - it makes me want to laugh, scream, cry, punch a bag, and more! If I could talk to ...more
The emotions of this book are overwhelming. I woke up in the middle of the night after I had read some of this before sleep, with an awful sense of dread. I spent several heavy-heart-beating minutes trying to track the source of my apprehension and finally realized it was being in the middle of this book.

I loved the interweaving of two generations' story, going back and forth between a group of Holocaust survivors and one of their granddaughter's living in present day Jerusalem, whose family has
Never before have I encountered such a book that moved me so deeply. But, then again, I have not read a book where I cried for the last 25 pages straight. The whole land of Israel has become a tragedy and this book, not only strengthened my firm opinions of Israel, but also made me see more clearly. I do not want to start a political discussion, but when Ragen discusses how the Palestinians hide behind children and shoot, I could not reflect on the current situacion in Israel where Palestinian t ...more
Althought interesting from a historical perspective, I found the story too contrived to be believable. Good beach-bag reading.
Sharon Sorken
Wordy, schmaltzy, and sometimes really stupid!
Loanis Menendez-cuesta
I picked up this book not knowing what to expect. The topic of Jerusalem and the Holocaust have always interested me and this book promised a lot of insights. I was very interested in the story of four women who are Holocaust survivors and became friends while in Auschwitz when they were very young. Their memories are recounted as flash backs within the modern times of the Israel/Palestinian conflicts of today. These women made a Covenant to help each other survive the evils of Auschwitz no matt ...more
Paula Howard
The Covenant is one of those rare books that you can't put down and don't want to end. Naomi Ragen does a wonderful job of linking the tragedy suffered by the Jewish people (focusing on women survivors) during WWII and the terrorist attacks suffered by the Jewish people in the State of Israel today. Four women who became friends while at Auschwitz formed a Covenant... that they would be there for each other then and forever. When one of their granddaughter's husband and young daughter are captur ...more
Delray Beach Public Library Public Library
Four remarkable women become friends during one of the darkest times in history –The Holocaust. Leah, Ester, Ariana, and Maria made a Covenant to help each other survive the evils of Auschwitz, and they do survive. Now in their 70s and 80s, these women come together again to help Leah’s granddaughter, Elise, whose husband and five-year old daughter have been kidnapped by the Hamas. Decades after Auschwitz, the members of the Covenant revive their promise to preserve life above all.

Ester is now
I'm not sure where I got this book, if someone gave it to me, I found it at a book sale somewhere, or what, but it came up to the top of the bedside pile when I finished the last book, so I thought I'd give it a go. I just stopped reading a bit short of halfway through this book. It is poorly-written, poorly-conceived, pure pro-Israeli, anti-Palestine schlock. Everything Israeli is portrayed as glowing, lovely, beautiful, open and loving (even to Palestinians) - those horrible Palestinians just ...more
I loved being plopped right in the middle of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict...I learned so much about the terror the Israelis live with every day. So good to read something that eschews all the "Hamas as freedom fighters or activists" crap...they are terrorists and kill innocent people. Can I just say how much I hated the British journalist, Julia Greenberg, in this book? She represented everything that is wrong with the majority of the media today. Fast moving thriller, poignant Holocaust mem ...more
I think Ragen's intended theme was the power of survivorship and sister/brotherhood (and how well they've served the Jewish people as a people). I think she may accidentally have erred toward the potentially counterproductive "Jewish people really do secretly rule the world via a network of strings they're just waiting to pull" theme, which made her story of Holocaust survivors battling a terrorist act from the four corners of the globe (not unlike octogenarian Power Rangers) uncomfortable as we ...more
Lynda Thatcher
Our holiday hotel had this book on their shelves to borrow and I'm so glad I did. Wasn't too sure if it was going to be a bit of a heavy going read as I'm not particularly religious or worldly wise but how wrong I was. It's definitely a page turner. Naomi Ragen has managed to convey the Jewish and Arab differences in their ongoing religious wars very well in this book whilst maintaining my interest in the ongoing story. I have a better understanding of the Hamas terrorists groups and the Israeli ...more
I've never read a book that covers so much of what is going on between the Palestinians and the Israelis so I was very intrigued about the subject matter as well as how it all affects the victims in the Holocaust and how they still feel like they are fighting for their rights. I did learn much about the situation that really opened my eyes, however I did rate this book lower due to the fact that there were so many characters being constantly introduced that I felt it distracted from the story. I ...more
The intertwining of the bond between four Holocaust survivors and the kidnapping of an Israeli Dr. and his daughter was compelling, although some of the subplots were just too contrived for my liking. While Ragen's POV is clearly pro-Israeli, I found much of her writing too preachy.
This is a great book to read to gain appreciation of the human elements involved in the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestians, including the holocaust as historical backdrop. Although it is a novel about a terrorist incident, it is one that conceivably could have happened.
Ruth Vesber

I love all of Naomi Ragen books. Good reads and engrossing. Let's you see what life would be like in a situation that's totally unlike my own. Helps me to appreciate other beliefs and lifestyles.
This was a great book. Honestly I was more intrigued by the way the book portrayed how people live in Israel and Saudi Arabia. Made me appreciate the freedoms we have in the US.
It was interesting for the most part. Good history lesson and it brought to life the fear with which many of the world's people live day in and day out.
This book is one of the best books that I have read in a long time. I really enjoy the writing style of this author.
I read this a while back and honestly can't remember what it was about or if I finished it.
This book was kind of graphic and really intense.
Michael Jenkins
Dr. Jonathan Margulies is a cancer specialist, he loves his profession and he loves putting putting a smile on all his patients. When he is not working to satisfy his patients, he is taking care of his daughter IIana and adoring his wife Elise. The two have a lot of common traits in common:They are both were raised in America but moved to Israel as young adults, forsaking their family. Elise loves her husband dearly but she fears for his safety because of all the terror that surrounds her family ...more
Talia Carner
A tale of friendship under siege, of loyalty entangled in politics, of humanity marred by media feeding frenzy.

The kindness of the physician who treats his Arab patients in an Israeli hospital is met with terrorism when he and his young daughter are being abducted by Palestinians. Into this picture enters the friendship of three aging women living in different continents. Unwavering in its commitment this friendship sends its powerful fingers across time and distance to connects the women again
This is a novel based on the reality faced by the people of Israel , a reality which a prejudiced and biased media will not tell you about.

. The reality of a people living in the shadow of Arab terror , relentless , brutal terror aimed at driving the Jews out of their ancient homeland.

It also brings us face to face with the ugliness of the international media , in their campaign to prepare the world for the genocide of the Jews in Israel.

The reaction of British journalist to the murder of a Jewi
Overall, this is a touching story about how four women (three Jews and one Christian,) survived Auschwitz together and made a pact to help each other lifelong called "the covenant." When one of their granddaughter's has a husband and small child who are captured in Israel by terrorists, they spring into action in order to save lives.

The idea of the story is engaging, but I found the writing to be occasionally off-putting. Naomi Ragen introduced a variety of characters with vastly different views
Anna Tadlock
I really enjoyed the writing and how the lives intertwined. I especially liked the authors insights from first hand experience in Israel and second hand experience with the holocaust. It made me question much of what is presented to us in the news and worry about what is happening in the world. On the other hand, it gave me hope that there are good people everywhere.
This book was brought home by my housemate, his heritage meaning that he tends to come in with books with Jewish links. Not really my thing if only because no organised religion is. However this was an interesting and entertaining read and provided some historical perspective. In fact with the religious overtones and historical elements, neither of which usually interest me to any great degree it must be a better book that I would have imagined or I wouldn't have completed it. The storyline seem ...more
I appreciated the inside look at life living under the constant threat of terrorism, and feel the author wove the story very well, revealing the back-story slowly and unobtrusively. The expression of the protagonists emotions was very well done, with a lot of figurative language to illustrate and help the reader(s) feel the emotions as well, though sometimes these sections felt a little over the top, going on for numerous paragraphs. I understand the reason--providing every possible reader with ...more
While this book delves somewhat into the Holocaust, it's more about Jewish Settlements in the West Bank. I was very interested and engaged in the story (even if a lot of the loose ends are tied up a little too neatly at the end). Ragen made her characters have a lot of personality and feeling which I thought were quite necessary given the touchy-ness of the topic of Jewish/Palestinian relations in Israel. This book definitely addresses a lot of the varied sentiments that people have about Jews i ...more
This is the story of Elise Margulies. She's confined to bed rest because of a difficult pregnancy and when her husband and her daughter are kidnapped because of a terrorist attack, she calls her grandmother in America. Her grandmother happens to have a covenant with three friends from back when they were in a concentration camp that she revives in order to save her family. It's an amazing story that you should definitely read. The bulk of the story takes place in Israel, but it really happens al ...more
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Naomi Ragen is an American-born novelist and playwright who has lived in Jerusalem since 1971. She has published seven internationally best-selling novels, and is the author of a hit play. Naomi also publishes a regular column that deals with Jewish subjects, especially Israel.
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“How do they manage to go on living?.....By loving life. And-in spite of everything-by loving God. By having enough faith to start over again and again; enough faith to risk having our hearts break all over again. That's the true meaning of faith. It's the deepest kind of heroism.” 5 likes
“When there was nothing left to gain, nothing more to lose, when one was face-to-face with the moment of greatest despair, to speak to God in love and thanks, rather than to curse Him and one's fate, was the ultimate choice of any human creature, and perhaps the ultimate expression of one's humanity.” 3 likes
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