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The Egyptian novel: for chapters, I forgot I was reading it / Lily Milat occupies a shelf

I waited. I was really looking forward to reading a book by Orly Castle-Bloom. My good friend for the master's degree in cultural studies, once told about her writing and her books in such a way that I am surprised that it took me two years since then to find myself with a book of hers in my hand. This time, in honor of my birthday, in which, among other things, I bought new books - because, come on, there's no celebration without reading - I took her only book that was in the store, The Egyptian novel.

The book accompanied me on vacation in Old Acre and even flew with me to Madrid, all the thrills that my lovers made sure to give me in one week. The Egyptian novel is not a long book, at my reading rate I would expect to finish it a day or two into the act. At first, I attributed the lack of progress to the intense days of celebrations alongside days of remembrance. But the truth is, no matter what, I don't close my eyes at night without reading and towards the end I had to admit that the spirit of the times was not the issue.

A little about the characters in the story

In the summary at the back of the book there is a claim that the heroine of the book is the eldest daughter, the one who was not given another name. There are several characters in this book named by family lineage. I have to admit that this is an interesting way to present a character and perhaps show how much they live on the side of their families, watching their own lives without being able to actually live them. If I had to say who the main character is, I wouldn't necessarily choose her. In fact, I didn't really find a main character in the book. In fact, the multitude of characters, the periods, the frenzy in which the testimonies passed and their reporting as they could have been or could not have been, tired me. 

In episode 7, in the series Let's say it's a city של Martin Scorsese, claims the serial reader and the subject of the program Fran Leibovitz, that worse than having a book upset her or her hating it, is forgetting that she is even reading it. During the week that it took me to start and finish reading the Egyptian novel, I witnessed at least two times when Fran's voice echoed in my head when, by chapters, I forgot I was reading it. I forgot about the book, I forgot about the characters and they didn't "call me" to give them life in the eyes of the readers. The writing is good, the topics are interesting - from ancient Egypt to a kind of modern day in Israel - and yet, the distance in the writing, which could have been somewhat cool, made me really walk away from the book without realizing it.

Yes, there was one time when I compared the female characters in the book, who are not "seen" in their lives, and our lives here. It was on an El Al flight back from Madrid that I witnessed firsthand the harassment of a flight attendant by one of the passengers. He was a very old man, so the surprise was doubly insulting when he came out of the bathroom and exposed himself to the shocked flight attendants. His response to their indignation was like the response to "winning" women who had the chance to participate in a car accident with a man when it was clearly not their fault - to blame them.

I am far from happy that such an act happened, but I am moved by what came after it; Two El Al pilots, without hesitation and without questions, stood by the side of the main victim, the police were called and a clarification call was given to the other women of the crew, who always have a listening ear and full support. I watched from the side how two men a decade younger than me know and work for a better world. Then, the image of the eldest daughter and the only daughter and Celeste from the zoo in Egypt came to me and I thought, here, in the sky between Madrid and Israel, our hope is not lost yet. 

Selected quotes that touched me and left a mark:

  • "At that time, it was already common to be afraid of those who were in the Holocaust, because you don't know what to expect from them."
  • "It's a shame he got a haircut the day before he died. He was much prettier with the full white hair and the white crystal. Dying people shouldn't get a haircut before they die!"

I'm not giving up on Orly Castle-Bloom's writing. The editor of the section here recommended me another book of hers and I intend to read it later this year. If there is something of hers that you have read and you believe is a must, I would appreciate it if you would write it down in the comments. Regarding the question whether remains or is released In my private library, the Egyptian novel loose. Hope he finds good eyes in a proper place. 

Book details: 

The Egyptian novel by Orly Castle-Bloom, United Kibbutz Publishing House, 2015.

Pleasant reading and may good words be by your side always,

Contact Chai here: At watsapBy email

Lily Milat
Lily Milat
Haifaite who found her home in a kibbutz near the Sea of ​​Galilee. Loves coffee, sea, people and cultures. Feng Shui consultant and author. Working on finding the regular and changing pulse in the residences and in the stories. Short stories penned by Ata, in English and Hebrew, were published in various collections and across the web and even won prizes. Her library: The Revolving Twin House (Sa'ar Publishing), The Bride of the Sea (Meteor Publishing), Bat Number Four (Meteor Publishing). To read short stories and learn more, visit Lily's website: Link

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