Yes, that's the right title to this post, "A Novel Novel."
"Novel" is one of those words which is both a noun and an adjective.
1. A fictional prose narrative of considerable length, typically having a plot that is unfolded by the actions, speech, and thoughts of the characters.
Strikingly new, unusual, or different. See Synonyms at new.
On this past Shabbat (yesterday,) the first long Sabbath afternoon of Day Light Savings Time, I read a new novel, Grains Of Sand: The Fall Of Neve Dekalim, by Shifra Shomron.
Now, where should I start?
I'm not totally objective about it, and it's not just the political view point.
For years I've been complaining that there isn't any home-grown literature coming out of the "settlement movement." There should be. There's talent here for sure and stories abound in such quantity and variety, with just the right humor, conflict and suspense.
A few years ago, a neighbor of mine, Yoel Ben Avraham, tried to do some hasbara for YESHA. He ran the blog/site YESHA Speaks Out, which unfortunately he later closed down. But in its "heyday" it had an essay contest for Israeli students, which I helped with. They were to write about their homes, since we wanted to get the world to see the truth about life in YESHA.
That's when we discovered the very talented Shifra Shomron. I was doubly excited, since Shifra and her family had lived in Shiloh for about a year, when she was a very young child, and I knew her family.
Over the years since they had left Shiloh, we had kept up minimal contact, and I was glad that they found their true home in Neve Dekalim. Shiloh just wasn't the "right fit" for them. I had no doubt that Disengagement would be extremely difficult for them. Along with all the thousands who read the articles on YSO, I kept up with the saga of the Shomron family, written by Shifra, as they dealt with the cruel blows of the upcoming exile brought by the Israeli Government's Disengagement policy.
Shifra was still a teenager when she wrote her novel novel, a very impressive debut. I learned a lot by reading it. My vantage in Shiloh was far from Gush Katif; though I consider my home to be in danger as a result. And no surprise to me, when Ehud Olmert announced that he was planning on exiling most Israeli Jews from Judea and Samaria, including from Shiloh. He hasn't given up on his evil plans.
Shifra's book should give people a better idea of what life is really like in the yishuvim. I hope she's writing a sequal, since life in exile mustn't be hidden.It pains me to compare the novel's main character's graduation from high school to my own. Efrat realized that the Israeli government was enthusiastically planning to destroy her idyllic home and community in Gush Katif At my high school graduation we basked in Israel's fruitful 1967 victory over the Arab states which were determined to destroy us.