Your basket (0 items) | view basket
Bookmark and Share
Holland Park Press

The Lonely Tree

Yael Politis

A great love story set against the violent birth of a nation.

Sample Passages

That’s him, her Amos
A letter from Over There
Goodbye forever?

Information Downloads

Brochure (PDF)


New - The Lonely Tree has received an honourable mention in the Eric Hoffer Award

Tonia is not sure about living in her country, this ‘not-even-a-country’. This is reflected in her love- hate relation with her father Josef, a most staunch supporter of this promised land.

Why? Well first of all Josef asks his small family, his wife Leah, Rina, Natan and Tonia, to live with Uncle Shmuel and Aunt Rivka in their tiny apartment in Tel Aviv. Tonia thinks it is even worse when he takes his family off to his beloved kibbutz, Kfar Etzion.

Life during Israel’s struggle for independence is harsh. Yet the hikes Josef organises for just the five of them are exhausting but magical. Throughout, the news from Europe is growing more and more alarming.
Tonia creates her own world by finding an ingenious way of enrolling in the coveted Gymnasium in Jerusalem and by dreaming about her ideal home. It is a dream house in America, full of bright lights with plenty of water and a kitchen with a large wooden table to entertain her family. 

And then she meets Amos, tall with ever so long legs and dark complexion, her ‘Italian boy’. Both have their hearts set on different ideals, yet they are unmistakably drawn to each other.

They make an interesting pair. Amos Amrani is a handsome and exotic Yemenite who fights in the Jewish underground. Tonia Shulman, whose family is from Poland, longs for security and comfort.

This new beginning is brutally interrupted when Kfar Etzion is besieged. A moving description of the desperate fight for and surrender of Kfar Etzion, a true story, forms the heart of this remarkable book.

In spite of her great personal loss, Tonia is still keen to leave the country. Even though she now knows she has always loved her father, she has not yet understood his true legacy.

Tonia, although still attracted to Amos, also wants to make her own way in life and is not ready to follow this charming but highly traditional man. She makes a great sacrifice in order to realise her dream.

She rejects Amos. In Grand Rapids, Michigan, she turns out to be a successful business woman and even manages to buy her dream house.

But what is a house without family? What about Amos? Tonia thinks it is very unlikely that he could have waited for her.

Will Tonia find her true heritage?


The Lonely Tree, a compelling and moving story about the soul of Israel.
Buy the book now.
£14.99 - $21.00 - €17.50
You can buy The Lonely Tree now by clicking on the 'Buy this book' button on this page. Your card will be debited in your local currency.
If you want to order in any other way, please email the publisher.
Want to know more about how The Lonely Tree came about? Read an interview with Yael Politis.

Tell a friend


ISBN: 978-1-907320-08-8
Number of pages: 443
Price: £14.99

Find out more about the author

What was said about The Lonely Tree

‘I really enjoyed this novel, for its well-researched depiction of recent history, its starkly honest view of Israel’s birth, and its characters, wisdom and plot.’ -  Sheila Deeth on Amazon

‘a very emotional read.’ & ‘a storyline that builds to a stunning conclusion. Just extraordinary!’ - Wanda Beaver on goodreads

‘The descriptions and the references to historical events are authentic, and Tonia is a fascinating character.’ & ‘It also yields an intimate familiarity with the turmoil during this time, both politically and personally.’ - Uvi Poznansky on Amazon

‘It is truly an interesting and informative page turner - a Palestinian/Israeli War (mostly) and Peace’ - Adam on Goodreads

‘For me this book is one of the reading highlights of the year, a powerful story that stayed with me long after I finished reading.’ - Christopher Fischer on Amazon

‘So, if you are in the mood for something deep, unique, and thought provoking…you may want to give this a try!’ - Steph on her Unlikely Librarian blog

‘Its a wonderful read with a bit of a complex plot which makes it all the more interesting.’ - Pick your Poison Book Review blog

‘This impressive look at a character’s harrowing journey through one of the most tumultuous times in Jewish history is explored in this emotional book.’ Without a Book blog

‘If ever there was a story crying out for someone to make a mini-series, it's The Lonely Tree - the most moving story I have read in a long time.’ - Catherine Cavendish on her blog

The Lonely Tree is an exciting love story, with unforgettable characters and a thoughtful perspective of the history behind the emergence of Israel.’ - Bookish Magpie blog

Politis does a very good job bringing the raw drama of the times and place into bold relief. ... History lives and breathes and bleeds in these pages’ - Pam Spence in The Ohio Jewish Chronicle

In the end, freedom and security are defined differently by each character, and their paths to finding both make for a book well worth reading.’ - Historical Novel Society

‘Tonia Schulman is a strong young woman who uses inventiveness and hard work to get what she wants.’ - Review by aoli

‘Yael Politis has written an extremely moving portrait of a nation, her people, her enemies and the lives lived there.’ Lisa Johnson on her Seeking with all Yur Heart blog

‘The Lonely Tree is a breath of fresh air ... it has a lot of heart.’ - Gillian Polack on Bibliobuffet

‘Yael Politis has created an entirely believable heroine, who I warmed to and grew to care for.’ 

‘The writing is very eloquent and the story flowed beautifully.  The narrative is moving, with humour and pathos and is also very informative about a specific part of Jewish history.’

‘I would highly recommend this book.’ - Between the Pages blog & BookRabbit

‘The author’s writing style is excellent, it flows well and tells the story in such a way that it is immediately interesting.’
‘…Yael Politis is an excellent author who really knows how to make a story readable, this is a book that everyone should read at some point.’ - Curious Book Fans
‘The book is well written, with evocative descriptions, gripping action, well-realized characters, and authentic appeals to the emotions.’
‘It is a good read for people interested in family relationships, courtship, marriage, cultural identity, and the birth of the modern state of Israel.’ - Elma Schemenauer on her blog and goodreads
‘Politis’ style is restrained, economical and mostly understated. She is a remarkably unobtrusive author. I believe that you will find not a single dull paragraph in this entire work. It is a gripping insight into the psyche of several different kinds of person, a vivid account of the forces that drive both human idealism and human destructiveness.’ - Gold Dust magazine.
‘It is also a story about the importance of family that is, ... a badly needed reminder in our increasingly secular, disconnected world.’
‘... it is the story of a group of people who hate war and take up the sword only because their Arab neighbors refuse to let them live in peace, and a reminder that the most powerful weapon Israel has, is hope.’ - Aaron Hecht's blog.
The Lonely Tree, movingly written by rising author Yael Politis, is an important contribution to Jewish and Zionist literature.’ -  Jewish Tribune Canada
The Lonely Tree by Yael Politis is a sweeping tale set against the Jewish settlement of Palestine and the establishment of a Jewish state. ... This book is a great one for book clubs.’ -  Mother and Daughter Book Club
‘...I recommend this book..... at 443 pages, I finished this book in a couple of days...’ -  Valerie McInroe on her blog Life is a Patchwork Quilt.
The Lonely Tree won one the of YouWriteOn book of the Year 2009 awards.
‘The judging panel and YouWriteOn readers alike agreed that The Lonely Tree is really a great read, carrying the reader along with a unique and intelligent story...’ - Edward Smith, manager of YouWriteOn
'The historical setting, the atmosphere and dialogues are so authentic,... This is a mature, vivid story, great material for a motion picture.’ - Rivka Keren (Kati) on YouWriteOn
‘... writing is powerful, evocative and extremely moving. Tonia is wholly credible ... the reader is drawn into her world...’ - Ann Nibbs on You WriteOne
‘Tonia's character is very well drawn and the reader immediately empathises with her.’ - Elaine Hankin (EDH) on YouWriteOn
‘The tensions of living under constant fear in the Settlement is captured perfectly’ - Neil A Randall on YouWriteOn
‘I was riveted. I was right there in all the action...’ - Erich Orser (Squid) on YouWriteOn
‘...has a steady pace, perfect characterisation and the establishment of the settings can only come from personal experience.’ - Prue Batten (Taggie01) on YouWriteOn

Background information

Background Information