Tuesday, August 7, 2012
The Last Rain by Edeet Ravel
I actually hated this book. In fact I only finished it because I kept hoping it would get better. The style was choppy - mostly written from the perspective of a 6 year old girl living on a kibbutz in Israel in the 1960s - but interspersed with descriptions of the founding of the kibbutz by her parents and others in the 1940s, fictional entries in a baby book kept by her mother when she was born, a diary of a kibbutznik in the 1920s and other random newspaper accounts and musings. On top of that there were extensive footnotes (some of the footnotes had footnotes). It made it difficult to read, and even harder to follow the story but that may be just because for all the storylines nothing really happened. It was also a sad, if realistic, commentary on life in a socialist commune - children raised by others (some of them not so kind to say the least), the Lord of the Flies result when children are housed together and have limited access to their parents, endless meetings about trivial matters which are never resolved since by definition no one can be in charge, etc. Maybe that would have made an interesting short magazine piece but I wouldn't bother reading this book.