Diana’s October Book Review: Being Lena Levi by Bobbie Ann Cole

Hey, I’m nearly still in October! There’s a surprise. I’ve noticed themes running through many books I choose to review:

  • They tell a tale linked to history
  • The books are often set in two time periods
  • The location is a place either I have an affection for or one I would dearly love to visit.

Why did I choose this book?

This is a YA book and I was scrolling through books on Amazon because I was wondering what my potential audience for Search for The Pearl Inside Yourself might read. I was drawn to the blurb; the idea that an English girl would suddenly be faced with a German lady telling her she was her real mother.

Did you feel empathy for any particular character?

Lena Levi tells her story. It is heartbreaking as she struggles with what she had, all fourteen years of her life so far, believed to be her identity. She needed proof and she needed to discover the truth for herself which took her to Germany and then on to a Kibbutz in Israel. Was she Marlene or was she really Lena? Once she had got over the initial shock and denial, it is her determination, strength of character and tenacity which drew me to her quest; however shocking and soul destroying it was at times.

Is there a lasting thought or memory of the book which remains with you?

Yes, and it is a more obscure one. It destroyed my paradise image of life in a Kibbutz and laid the concept bare in that they almost certainly attract folks with all the positive and negative characteristics that you also find in the ‘real world’ outside. A microcosm of life rather than an escape.

And so I no longer have a yearning to try living in a Kibbutz, which maybe a trifle unfair, but the book made me grow up a bit and be more realistic. As for Lena Levi, well, you will have to read this absorbing tale for yourself.

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Filed under Book reading, Book reviews

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