The People Of Forever Are Not Afraid by Shani Bioanjiu-336 pages
ARC from Random House
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.
My Review: 3 stars
An interesting book that was sent to me as an ARC. I times I relished this book while other times I had to stop. The author’s use of “stream of consciousness” writing was often hard to read. Honest as it was and so absurdly realistic, it was hard to follow in some areas of the book. This story had three main protagonists who come of age as they simultaneously lose their innocence while serving their time in the Israeli army. Violence and fear are with every step these girls take whether they are in ballistics or checkpoint duty. Painful to read because this author doesn’t give you the pat, happy stories with a golden ending. These girls live hard lives both during their service years and also during the little part we learn of their so called adult lives. I will definitely look to see what this author has out next. As an aside, this author is young and at 25 was the youngest ever to receive the National Book Award “5 under 25” award selected by author Nicole Krauss.
Quotes I liked:
- “His eyes were those of a man nuisance had died in.”
- “...because we played with her before she was super popular, when she still played with people instead of just playing people.”
-Tags: 2012, Fiction, Friendship, Coming Of Age
Labels: 2012, Coming Of Age, Fiction, Friendship