Monday 29 March 2010

Review: Ode to Joy - Shifra Horn + a happy birthday

 Ode to Joy by Shifra Horn

Genre: Fiction
Pages: 300
Published: 2006

Following a terrorist explosion on a bus in Jerusalem, Yael, a married mother who narrowly escaped the attack, is haunted by the last image she recalls before the horror: a little blonde child waving to her from the window of the bus, and the sound of Beethoven's Ode to Joy, which was playing on her car radio. Yael's husband, Nachum, seems unable, or unwilling to understand what she has been through, and although her friends and colleagues are sympathetic, they cannot share her pain. 

Still traumatised, she feels compelled to seek out the blonde child's grieving father, the enigmatic and mysterious Avshalom. Drawn to him through their mutual suffering and fascinated by his unusual background, Yael begins to fall helplessly in love with him. Avshalom too, cannot deny his own feelings, but his belief that the loss of his wife and child is divine punishment for past sins overshadows any glimmer of hope for their future.

This was a strange read in a way. I started reading, and then I though, no, let's stop, but I couldn't. So I read some more, and then more. I can't say what pulled me in, but something did.

I think it was the realism of the story. There is nothing pretty about this book. It is every day life. No sex lust, taking car of her kid that wets his bed, arguing with her mother, doubting her love for her husband. Fantasizing about another man. Going on with life. A lot of small things that gave it that feeling that this could haev happened.

Then there is the bigger part, the trauma. Yael is driving her car and waving to a kid. The next minute every thing is on fire and people are screaming. She comes out of it unharmed but her soul has shattered. None of her friends, or her husband understands why she keep on dwelling in the darkness. They want her to snap put of it, but the shock hit her hard and she keeps on thinking of that kid she waved at. Which leads to her finding the father and falling for him. A love that can never be.

There was no right or wrong in this book, I liked that. It stayed neutral in the way and if it brought something up it looked at it from both points of views. It is because she kind of caught in between it all, and gets called a leftist a lot. But I liked it because I wanted the story and not getting into something else, and yes I could pick my own battles in the book. But I will not bring that up here. Never talk about religion or politics.

I liked this book, but do not ask me why. The story had me reading, what would happen? Would she get better, and get over her fears. It is a strong book in a way, and I know that I would be to afraid to live where she did. It also deals with her thoughts about her dad who was a survivor.

Blodeuedd's Cover Corner. Simple
Reason for Reading: Library book
Final thoughts: Nice book

To something else....


I see that the two of you are ready to hit the town ;)
Have a great day!!

And one more thing. Tomorrow  I have Michele Hauf over for a guest post. She is giving away her newest book, Her Vampire Husband. Will see you all then :)


  1. Thanks!!! I look so hot standing next to BFlow ;)

    Thank you so much!!

  2. Wow, this sounds like such an intense book. I feel like lately, you've been reading a great variety of books that seem to end up on my wishlist!

  3. @I've read this book too. It was an emotional read! Nice review :)

  4. Oh, this book sounds too intense for me...

    Happy birthday to Mandi!!

    And cool - you're having a Minnesota author on your blog tomorrow. :D

  5. Mandi
    Yes look at you with your funky had and lipstick ;)

    Really, well good :D That is what I am here for. I do feel too that I have found a great variety

    Cool, you have, and yes very emotional

    I am in, lol, did not know she was from there

  6. Great review B. :) Sometimes a book will just grab you - and you have to read it. LOL


  7. I've read books that I've liked and felt hard pressed to tell you why. You've got me very intrigued by this one!

  8. This book sounds good - definitely something I would like I think.

  9. it sounds like an interesting read if it kept you hooked till the end.

    Happy birthday to your friend!

    and Her Vampire Husband sounds good!

  10. Sometimes I also have a hard time trying express why I liked a book but I totally got that you really enjoyed this one. :)

  11. Oh gosh, Blodeuedd you are priceless!!!!!

    Love your review hon!!!

    Happy Birthday Mandi. Glad that Brandon took you out for your day!

    Blodeuedd, hope all is well for you honey!

  12. Michelle
    So true, and why the need for explanations :)

    Sometimes I know, sometimes, not so much. But in the end it is most important that I liked it.

    I think you would like it.

    Be sure to stop by ;)
    Yes it was nice, I like when something keeps me hooked

  13. Donna
    I am glad it was seen. Not that easy all the time

    Hehe thanks Cecile M)
    All is well! I hope you're doing fine too

  14. It does sound like an interesting read, and it's nice that it stayed neutral and looked at both sides. It can be really frustrating to read a book where it seems like the author has an agenda.

  15. Interesting review for an interesting book. I understand what you are saying, something powerful that made you finish it. And the realism too. Thanks Linda!

  16. Alyce
    I know, I recently read one, and it wasn't as neutral, it tried but did not really get all the way there, and I do not like sides bashing each other

    You're welcome :)
    It is good with a bit of reality now and again

  17. Sounds like a book I'd like. I'll keep this one in mind. Thanks for the review.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  18. Anna
    I do think you could like this one :)



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