The Lonely TreeYael Politis
Sample PassagesThat’s him, her Amos
A letter from Over There
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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.
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Number of pages: 443
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What was said about The Lonely Tree
‘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.’