The People of Forever Are Not Afraid by Shani Boianjiu
- Method of Obtaining: I received my copy via the publisher via NetGalley.
- Published by: Hogarth
- Release Date: 9/11/2012
Yael, Avishag, and Lea grow up together in a tiny, dusty Israeli village, attending a high school made up of caravan classrooms, passing notes to each other to alleviate the universal boredom of teenage life. When they are conscripted into the army, their lives change in unpredictable ways, influencing the women they become and the friendship that they struggle to sustain. Yael trains marksmen and flirts with boys. Avishag stands guard, watching refugees throw themselves at barbed-wire fences. Lea, posted at a checkpoint, imagines the stories behind the familiar faces that pass by her day after day. They gossip about boys and whisper of an ever more violent world just beyond view. They drill, constantly, for a moment that may never come. They live inside that single, intense second just before danger erupts.
- It looked interesting – I’ve also been on a kick of war-stories lately
The People of Forever Are Not Afraid by Shani Boianjiu is a rough … really rough read. The story deals with three Israeli women, Yael, Avishag, and Lea, and is not the typical linear story that I’m used to seeing. Rather, it seemed as if this book was made up of fragments of a story which took us from the girls’ childhood through adulthood.
In each fragment, the reader is given a glimpse of what is going on – and that glimpse could be describing a place or job, it could be delving into the mind and thoughts of the girl it’s focused on, or it could be a third party narrator talking about the ramifications of a certain action and what is going on in the outside world. Regardless of how the narration style is, each snippet of the story is powerful, written in an extremely detached fashion, and very, very stark.
If you are interested in seeing how the wars in the Middle East are viewed through the eyes of female soldiers, then this is a book that will very much interest you. I caution you, however, if you are looking for just an interesting story with a plot that’s easy to follow. I don’t really think there’s a plot in this book – instead, it’s like a patchwork quilt, with each square a portion of a story until the book (or quilt) as a whole is complete.
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