Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Every House Needs A Balcony by Rina Frank - Review And Giveaway

Hailed as the "Israeli Kite Runner" (The Bookseller), this international bestseller and publishing phenomenon is the bittersweet story of one family, one home, and the surprising arc of one woman's life, from the poverty of her youth to the glowing love and painful losses of her adult years.

Braiding together past and present, Every House Needs a Balcony tells the story of a young Jewish girl—a child of Romanian immigrants—who lives with her family in the poverty-stricken heart of 1950s Haifa, Israel. Eight-year-old Rina, her older sister, and their parents inhabit a cramped apartment with a narrow balcony that becomes an intimate shared stage on which the joys and dramas of the building's daily life are played out. It is also a vantage point from which Rina witnesses the emergence of a strange new country, born from the ashes of World War II. Later, after years of living abroad with her wealthy Spanish husband in Barcelona, Rina, longing for the simple life she has missed, returns to the Haifa of her boisterous youth, a move that soothes her soul but ultimately endangers her marriage.

Beautifully told, rich with questions of identity, love, and survival, Every House Needs a Balcony is an unforgettable social and historical portrait of a neighborhood and a nation. Steeped in the colors and smells, laughter and tears, of Rina Frank's own childhood memories, it is a heartbreaking tale about the deepest meanings of home.

What I Can Tell You: When I heard this was the "Israeli Kite Runner" (a book I really adored), I was excited to dive in.  For me, this wasn't anything like the Kite Runner. I was lost which is one of the reasons I used to use Amateur Book Review in my title. The constant change between the first person and third person narratives really confused me. 

The story of Rina who grows up in poverty, in one room, she shares with her parents and sister has a great premise. She meets a well to do man and moves to Spain before returning to Israel.  I loved reading about her life in a "fish bowl" and how everyone knew what everyone wore because the laundry hung on the balcony, or who was having problems because of the closeness of the homes. Spending a few years in Brooklyn after my mom died I could totally relate. Everyone knew and heard everyone's business through the "court yard" air shaft between the connected homes.   I just couldn't get into the whole story. 

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Harper Collins has bestowed a copy of Every House Needs a Balcony to giveaway to one of my readers.

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:55 AM

    It took me a long time to search on the net, only your site unfold the fully details, bookmarked and thanks again.

    - Laura


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