[Buch] Linda Grant: When I lived in modern times

When I Lived in Modern Times by Linda Grant
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked this up as a Kindle deal a couple of weeks back as I liked the idea to read more about the founding period of the State of Israel from a young woman's perspective.

When Evelyn Sert, a 20-year-old hairdresser from Soho sets out to support the Zionist cause in Palestine she has no idea what she's up against. At first she's sent to a Kibbutz where she experiences hard work and a almost communist ideal of shared property and a meager lifestyle she cannot identify with. In Tel Aviv, life's a little more "modern" but here she encounters identity issues and finds herself torn between the familiar ways of her British clients and her new Jewish acquaintances. As the tension between various Jewish underground organizations and the British officials rises, Evelyn has to face a reality that the Zionist ideal she heard and read about in England has not prepared her for.

"When I lived in modern times" is a well-written enjoyable read. The main character is developed well and very likeable given her personal circumstances. As a former resident of Tel Aviv, I loved the detailed descriptions of how that intriguing city must have looked 60 years ago. It's hard to imagine that "once upon a time" when all the buildings were brand-new, Tel Aviv really was a white city. Overall I would have liked to get more background on the resistance movement against the British mandate but I guess that's what makes the difference between a history book and a novel and "When I lived in modern times" is a novel through and through. It's got romance (though I didn't like the guy much), a pretty tough heroine and interesting supporting characters. You cannot ask for much more than that in a book, can you?

(I found the font in the Kindle edition annoying. It switched between cursive and regular and gave me quite a headache)

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