We love books that show us a different world from the one we live in. Israel is an extra interesting place because it's a country that has a volatility at its heart that often seems will never be settled. This volatility is also at the heart of Hope Valley by Haviva Ner-David. What is also at the heart is an undercurrent of optimism about the future of Israel through the story of two women, one Jewish-Israeli and one Palestinian-Israeli, who come together to form the unlikeliest of friendships.
Hope Valley, being a novel, is a writing departure for Haviva. She's known for her spiritual journey memoirs, having published two before Hope Valley and a third, Dreaming Against the Current, with Bedazzled Ink. As with Hope Valley, Dreaming Against the Current is a richly textured work depicting a remarkable life on a remarkable spiritual journey. As one reviewer wrote, "This is a memoir you might need to read twice—once simply to fall in love with the author and her spider, slug, jellyfish, hummingbird and pigeon, and then once again, to find yourself."
In Dreaming Against the Current, we learn what Haviva has to do every day just to physically move. Since the age of sixteen, she's been dealing with a genetic degenerative muscular disorder "which makes many forms of movement on dry land difficult and painful." Knowing that, and knowing all that she's done in her life, makes her, as a person and as a writer, even more remarkable