"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