The title ‘One Night Markovitch’ defines a pivotal moment in the life of the protagonist. That event creates an epic tale, where the longings and passions of robust characters collide.

My initial response to Ayelet Gunder – Goshen’s use of the Third-Person Omniscient POV, constant use of titles and full names of her characters was - irritation.

However, the formal, detached style, with the constant repetition of names and behaviours slowly drew me into the narrative and created a gentle rhythm. The pace allowed me to more fully experience the impact of the triumphs and failings of the characters. The language - picturesque, poetic, and whimsical provided a rich sensory experience, sometimes touching the mystical. It often disguised the bouts of brutality which erupted without warning, catching me off guard.

The setting - ‘the war’ is a diffused backdrop, highlighting the players on centre stage.

The symmetries, symbolism, passions, tragedy and humour combined to create a saga that resonates with the resilience and stubbornness of earthy men and women who created the New State of Israel.

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