Troubador Running Home

Released: 28/03/2019

ISBN: 9781789017298

eISBN: 9781838598655

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Running Home

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Denise is an English teenager and a member of the Jewish minority. Her mother died when she was a baby. Running Home describes her journey to adulthood, taking her through dysfunctional family relationships, confrontations with anti-Semitism and the discovery of the tensions and contradictions of the modern State of Israel. Those who help her on her path include her grandmother who was a refugee from Nazi Germany and a compassionate English Pakistani.


Denise’s father and stepmother are observant Jews who are exasperated by her challenges to their values. At sixteen, Denise is itching to break loose from the suffocating affluence of her London home and is helped by her doting grandmother to escape to a Sixth Form Boarding College in the beautiful countryside of the North of England. But, before Denise finally leaves home, she discovers a startling secret about her mother’s death that will eventually alter the course of her life.

She thrives at her new school until anti-Semitism and racism pollute the atmosphere. At University, she hides her true identity until her boyfriend reveals his own anti-Semitic views. 

Deciding to visit Israel, Denise finds out more about her mother. She falls in love with the country and a reserve soldier, but disaster strikes when he is seriously wounded in a military clash.  

Denise returns to England confused and disillusioned. She meets Imran, an English Pakistani whose support and wisdom helps her when her father falls seriously ill and asks for her help. What will the future hold?

That's Books

"Running Home" Review 150819
This, "coming of age" novel is a riveting page turner. But it is more. It is a historical novel, set in the years 2003 to 2009, which follows Denise's stormy path between the age of 16 and 22, both in England and in Israel. Denise - top student and outstanding athlete - is unknowingly influenced by historical events which shaped her parents and grandparents and their life stories. Her path is marked by the discovery of true facts, deliberately withheld from her, regarding the tragic and violent circumstances of the death of Gabriella, her mother, while Denise was still a baby. This is followed by her father's marriage to Stephanie, whose value world turns out to be a polar opposite to that of Gabriella.
Conflicting values and personalities impact and influence Denise's search for identity, relationships and "home". What is her identity and where is that "home" to which Denise, the championship runner, actually runs?
But this is not only a story about Denise traversing the cultural tensions inherent in choosing a life and love either in England and Israel or both. Wheels within wheels. The author (who is clearly intimately related to both cultures) exposes us to the conflicting values in the subcultures within the macro of both England and Israel. In so doing the author zooms in to unexpected twists and turns resulting from subcultures within that macro of two societies. Yes, "Running Home" is a page turner. But its unexpected added value is that it exposes us to the human face of tensions both in England and in Israel.

by Max Langer


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