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Where the Desert Meets the Sea

Narrated by: Coleen Marlo
Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
4 out of 5 stars (60 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A moving novel about the fates of two women and those they love in the days surrounding the founding of the State of Israel.

Jerusalem, 1947: Judith, a young Jewish woman who survived Dachau concentration camp, arrives in Palestine after a treacherous journey and seeks refuge with her only remaining relative, her uncle. When Judith learns her uncle has died, she tries to take her own life in despair.

In Hadassah Hospital, Hana, an Arab nurse, saves Judith’s life by donating her own blood. A fragile bond of friendship develops between the two women, but it will face a harsh test over time.

Soon Hana’s fiancé Youssef learns that she, the daughter of a prominent Palestinian family, is in love with a Jewish doctor, and he becomes increasingly radicalized. Youssef joins the followers of a mufti who plans to drive the Jews into the sea. Judith, meanwhile, follows the Jewish Palmach officer Uri into the battle for Jerusalem. 

Then the political situation worsens. In November, the United Nations adopts the Partition Plan for Palestine - and the violence erupts. 

Author Werner Sonne worked for more than forty years as a television correspondent for ARD in Germany and abroad. He’s a sought-after expert in the fields of foreign and security policy. His intention for this novel was to show the human face of the Jerusalem conflict.

©2019 Werner Sonne. (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Historical Fiction Relevant to Current Events

This heart wrenching historical fiction tells the story of the creation of the modern Jewish state in 1948. It is seen through the eyes of a young Jewish woman who was liberated from a Nazi concentration camp at the end of WWII and fled to Palestine.
The book is well researched. It held my interest in a way that a documentary history might not. It gave me a deeper understanding of the Arab / Isreali conflict that erupted in 1948 and continue unabated today.
One thread in the story is the bond between an Arab nurse and the Jewish heroine. It showed how friendship and peace are possible when people are willing set aside their religious and cultural differences and be "humans first".

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I learned so much

Very unbiased historical fiction about hostilities between Jews and Arabs over the Palestinian land. As with all wars the innocent little people suffer the most. I would liked to have know how a few of the characters ended up . My only real complaint is the uncalled. For taking of the Lords name in vain That’s why I can’t give 5 stars Several of the places were not spoken correctly All in all a very good read

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Unbelievable!

This book makes it clear as to what is happening in the Middle East, regarding the fight over the historic city of Jerusalem.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting, unbiased, sadly true

I have read much about this time in our history. The author shows the facts on both sides. It is sad that this remains a problem. Excellent book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Narrator mispronounces characters’ Hebrew names!

Sloppy that narrator says common Hebrew names inaccurately. Story is interesting and describes the time of Israel’s independence. Also a great. historical fiction text.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Hard to finish

I had a hard time finishing this one. I generally like historical fiction, but this one was pretty heavy handed with the depressing detail of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Plus, it was hard to follow all the Hebrew names in an audio book - two characters had similar names, which was confusing. The editing was also poor - there were no pauses in narration between sections in a chapter. It sounded the narrator was just reading the next sentence rather than pausing to let the listener understand we were changing to the story of another character.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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Mangled pronunciation

The mangled pronunciation of key character and place names was cringeworthy. It would have been better to simply read them in English.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The narrator’s voice made it VERY difficult to love this book.

I absolutely applaud narrators esp when there are multiple characters voices. However the whimsical portrayal of the lead female characters irked my nerves. The historical aspects of the book are great yet the narration attempted to turn it into a sleazy romance novel. The love stories could be betrayed without a bad soap opera interpretation.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Unable to listen to book.

The audio book is screwed up and would not go any further than the first five minutes of narration

0 of 1 people found this review helpful