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Queen Solomon

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  45 ratings  ·  13 reviews
It's just another boring summer for our teenaged narrator -- until Barbra arrives. An Ethiopian Jew, Barbra was brought to Israel at age five, a part of Operation Solomon, and now our narrator's well-intentioned father has brought her, as a teen, to their home for the summer. But Barbra isn't the docile and grateful orphan they expect, and soon our narrator, terrified of h ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published October 30th 2018 by Coach House Books
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3.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  45 ratings  ·  13 reviews


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Navidad Thélamour
The description of this novella only vaguely resembles how it actually reads. What really seems to be happening here is a narration style similar to stream of consciousness, where this budding teenage narrator learns first-hand about sex the summer that Barbra, an Ethiopian Jewish girl of 18, comes to stay with his family for the summer.

There is a lot of crude language, which wouldn't have bothered me if it come from a more mature mind (the narrator, not the author) and had a meaningful purpose
...more
Ariel
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First of all, I loved this book. Flat out, hands down loved it. It is the most compulsively readable thing I've picked up in a while. I read an Advanced Readers Copy, so apologies that this isn't out yet, but I just wanted to get some of my thoughts down.

I can't remember for sure whether the book actually outright references that good old Oscar Wilde quip about how 'everything is about sex, except sex, which is about power', but it certainly stayed on my mind. If you like that quotation, I imagi
...more
Ben
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tamara Faith Berger is one of my favorite contemporary novelists and Queen Solomon, her fifth novel, is her boldest and most confrontational yet. The title refers to the biblical figures Queen of Sheba and King Solomon in addition to “Operation Solomon,” a covert Israeli military operation in which Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel in 1991. Those dual references suggest the novel’s highly-charged (to put it mildly) religious, political, and sexual themes but nothing can prepare you for the ...more
Aaron Mcquiston
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the third book I have read by Tamara Faith Berger, and the theme that really runs through her work is that sex is a form of power, a power to strengthen yourself, even if it means that it is also destroying you at the same time. This is the case of the narrator in her new novel, "Queen Solomon". His life changes when his family hosts a woman, Barbra, an Ethiopian Jew, whom he sees as a giant and the object of every desire that he's ever had. She quickly pulls him into an abusive relation ...more
Michelle Arredondo
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Operation Solomon....Barbra, a 5 year old Ethiopian Jew is brought to Israel. Turning teenager...she is sent to stay with a family for the summer. The narrator is the son of the father that has welcomed Barbra in. Barbra...what a character. She is not shy. She is not someone conflicted with traumas to the point that she is meek and afraid. Quite the opposite. She is fierce to the point of cruelty. She is rebellious and well experienced in sexuality and she uses that sexuality to gain power. The ...more
Kimberley
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Thank you Edelweiss+ for this Advanced eGalley of “Queen Solomon”.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say this book won’t appeal to many, and is likely to seem overly lewd without much discernible context.

Then again, perhaps I’m only describing myself.

Barbra is an Ethiopian Jew, brought to Israel via Operation Solomon, and now ensconced (thanks to a program sponsored by the rotary club) in the Canadian home of our hormonally driven narrator. His name is never mentioned, but he’s referred to freq
...more
Anna
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
I remember reading Maidenhead after the furor, and thinking it was a revelation. Queen Solomon has one of the best covers I've ever seen, but the book felt repetitive and disjointed to me, cyclical (and maybe it was supposed to, and maybe I'm not picking up on some of the themes and the nuances that I should be picking up on). And there was all the build-up, to the pivotal moment of violence, to the two pivotal moments of violence, actually, and then those moments were both unclear. It felt like ...more
Gina
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was a little difficult to read as it follows a sort of "stream of consciousness" type of narrative and you're never truly sure what/who you are supposed to believe.

I would say it is definitely for more mature readers as there are a lot of political and literary references I had to pause and look up as well as the sadist sexual content that frankly made me a little sick sometimes.

I feel like specific fans will enjoy this book. Unfortunately, it was a little too much for my taste.
Devlyn
Jan 17, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5, though I find Tamara Faith Berger’s books hard to rank on the star system. Definitely a compulsive read though.
Becky Skillin
Apr 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: canadian-authors
Mental illness, family disintegration, child abuse and porn. What’s not to love?
Michelle Y
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Apr 16, 2019
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J Aislynn d'Merricksson
Queen Solomon by Tamara Faith Berger is the story of Barbra, a Jewish Ethiopian brought to Israel at age five, part of Operation Solomon. When she is a teen, our narrator's father brings her to their home for the summer. However, Barbra is a rebellious teenager, a train off its tracks. She constantly lied to the family, and would binge drink, among other things. Like sadistic mental games with our narrator. Her actions lead to some terrible circumstances that take years for him to bounce back fr ...more
Kevin O Gorman
rated it really liked it
Oct 11, 2018
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Tamara Faith Berger has published three novels: Lie With Me (2001), The Way of the Whore (2004) and Maidenhead (2012). Her first two novels were recently re-published as Little Cat (2013). She has been published in Taddle Creek, Adult and Apology magazine. Her work has been translated into Spanish and German. Tamara won the Believer Book Award for Maidenhead. She lives in Toronto.
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