A brilliant, astonishing and politically timely page-turner set in 1921 Palestine, from the author of the bestselling novel Far to Go, nominated for the Man Booker Prize.
This beautifully written, shocking and timely novel whisks us back to 1921, when a band of young Jewish pioneers set out to realize a dream: the founding of a settlement on a patch of land that would, twenty-five years later, become Israel. One by one, we enter the minds of three compelling characters--Ida, an idealistic young woman escaping violence brewing in Europe; David, the charismatic and volatile group leader; and Hannah, a wife and mother struggling with her roles--to witness how the utopian dream is punctured by messy human entanglements. This is also the story of the land itself, revealing with compassion and irony how the pioneers chose to ignore the fact that their valley was already home to people whose lives they did not understand.
Writing with restrained power, award-winning novelist Alison Pick creates unforgettable characters who, isolated within their utopian dream, are haunted by ghosts, compromised by secrets, and finally, despite flashes of love and hope, worn down by hardship, human frailty, and the pull of violent confrontation. Her astonishing conclusion forces us to confront the question of what is truly knowable in the human heart.