Edges: O Israel, O Palestine
by Leora Skolkin-Smith

The Story Plant, 2014. ISBN 978-1-611-88164-6.
Reviewed by Khadijah A.
Posted on 12/30/2014

Fiction: Mainstream; Fiction: Multi-Cultural

Edges is a book that defies categorization on many levels. First of all, while the protagonist, Liana, is only fourteen, her story is one that speaks to readers of many different ages. The subject matter is mature, but the author's language, both beautiful and evocative, elevates and gives it a voice that is ageless.

Skolkin-Smith navigates through many complicated and potentially explosive subjects with grace and sensitivity. Whether portraying the ever-changing relationship of mother and daughter, or the complex past and present of the Arab-Jewish divide in Palestine, she manages to present the reader with a taste of what both sides are feeling and experiencing, giving the book a breadth and depth that is often missing in works that portray only one side of these things. There is a sense of balance and insight throughout the story, and Skolkin-Smith's vivid descriptions and thoughtful characterization bring it to life in a way that much longer novels could not.

Edges is a book that stays with the reader long after she has set it down. It would be an excellent book for classroom or group use, fostering conversation and understanding on many levels.

Leora Skolkin-Smith was born in Manhattan in 1952, and spent her childhood between Pound Ridge, New York and Israel, traveling with her family to her mother's birthplace in Jerusalem every three years. She earned her BA and MFA and was awarded a teaching fellowship for graduate work, all at Sarah Lawrence. Learn more on her website.

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