The following is a book review by The Ameri Brit Mom. This is book #7 from The Ameri Brit Mom 24 Book Challenge in 2016. This post expresses the genuine opinion and experiences of The Ameri Brit Mom and is in no way endorsed by authors, publishers, or outside influences.
Title: Real Time
Author: Pnina Moed Kass
Publisher: Clarion Books
Copyright Date: 2004
My husband and I have racked up quite the book collection over the years.
Rarely, do we pay full price for a book, but rather scour library sales, half-price bookstores, or teacher warehouse specials. This book I chose to read recently was from a shelf at the local library marked “Free.” With no cost attached to the book, it was worth the snatch. Until last week this book sat gathering dust on our overstuffed bookshelf. When it came time to look for a book by an author I had never heard of I went through the stacks of books in search of this one.
Pnina Moed Kass is not a household name. She is an American who resides in Israel and writes about the struggle of life in the Middle East. Her writings aren’t extremely popular because they shed light on the horrific acts taking place daily in a region so tormented by hate and war. I learned a lot from reading this book about how blessed I am to be an American, but this book left me with the desire to do something about the conflicts in the Middle East. Innocent people live in fearful conditions because of an ancient grudge between two races. This should never be.
Thomas is a sixteen year old German seeking forgiveness for the acts of his grandfather during World War II. Vera is a nineteen year old Ukranian girl leaving behind a family of lies in search of her heritage. Baruch Ben Tov runs the gardens at a Kibbutz. Plagued by his own memories of the concentration camps and the numbers imprinted in his skin he struggles everyday with fear of what others may do to him, and even worse what he is capable of himself. Sameh is a Palestinian who has been mixed up in the radical world. Fate brings these people together along with others whose stories are uniquely woven into human history.
Upon his arrival in Israel, Thomas seeks out the Kibbutz where he plans to work as a gardener. Vera plans to study botany in college when her boyfriend, Dan, is out of the army, but spends time at the Kibbutz preparing for those plans. Because of their shared interests Thomas and Vera intersect in Israel and Vera steps up to be Thomas’ guide during his visit.
Shortly after their introductions Vera and Thomas are caught up in the dangerous world of terrorism. They find themselves victims of a horrific act against humanity and struggle with making it through the event in more ways than one. Each person touched by this tragedy begins to recognize the importance of loved ones and faith in a way they never have before.
I read this book in 48 hours. I was instantly drawn into the lives of the characters and as the events unfolded I kept reading until I found out what had happened to those characters I had come to care for so deeply. Although this book is written about fictitious people it is a mirror of some of the tragic realities that plague Israel in this time. This book made me more informed and aware about the world beyond the western borders. Most of the time readers pick up books to escape their lives in pursuit of something happy or adventurous. If that is your usual motivation for reading this book may not be the best for you. However, if you choose books that appeal to your sense of travel, compassion, and knowledge Real Time is a great pick.
It is equal to living in a tragic land, To live in a tragic time. -Wallace Stevens, “Dry Loaf”
The Ameri Brit Mom