Cover Image: On Her Own

On Her Own

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Member Reviews

The writing was beautiful but it was difficult to follow. I think I would have preferred a physical copy to follow along.

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this one was just wow. sad, tragic, interesting, very well done. thanks so much for the ARC, i would recommend this one.

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The more I read, the more I loved it. It's that kind of book. At first I wasn't all that invested and it opens quite abruptly. But as we get to know the characters and as Nina/Dana comes to some realizations about her life and the world, I felt fully invested. I also enjoyed the setting greatly since it helped me learn more about life in Israel for immigrants and place in society. And I loved the ending. This could really be a classic coming of age story.

Thank you to NetGalley for an advance copy of this book. It's timely and necessary.

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This review is written after the October 7, 2023 massacre in Israel. What struck me about the book was that recently Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned that splitting Israel with Palestine was impractical; Israel was small enough.
This novel, “On Her Own,” by Lihi Lapid, who is married to Yair Lapid, former Prime Minister of Israel before Netanyahu regained his position, illustrates his observation. When Nina runs away from Tel Aviv, she goes to the southern beaches where, not so incredibly, she peers out the window facing the beach only to see her abuser boyfriend walking outside, trying to escape the police whom he suspects want to pin a murder on him that Nina witnessed.
This is a linear story, There are no backstory scenes about Irina, Nina’s mother, and her life in Ukraine before she moves to Israel; there is no in-depth explanation for the dislike by the Israeli Jews for the Russian Jews who have emigrated just the inexorable peril of a teenage girl.
The only sub-plots are romantic in nature if the tired trope of the grandmother with dementia is discounted.
Itamar, the son of Carmela who is frail with Alzheimer’s, has left for the United States with his family in the hope of solidifying his career. But eventually he thinks his children “will marry Americans and do them (Itamar and Naama, the parents) a favor and come visit for a few days twice a year, the way grown children in America do.”
“They’ll (Itamar and his wife Naama) always be waiting for their children, and then their grandchildren.”
This novel is a story of love in families and the families’ love for Israel.
Thank you to NetGalley and HarperVia for the ARC of this book.

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On her own

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this eARC.

Trigger warning regarding rape and domestic violence.

This book starts off at 1,000 RPM and although it is initially shocking and hard to read, PLEASE keep reading - it is so worth getting through the difficult first part.

In whole, this is a beautiful book about familial closeness, distance, and then reconnection, as well as making bad choices and working through them to a fulfilling future.

Although the first few pages were as shocking as jumping in a cold lake in the fall, this book earned 5 stars from this reader and the author has earned a new fan!

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Nina, escapes from her abusive, married hoodlum boyfriend Johnny, while witnessing a murder he committed, Scared for her life and beaten up, she hides inside an apartment building, with nowhere to go and no one to help.

This is the story of Nina and her friendship with a lonely old woman, Carmela, who finds Nina cowering in the apartment building and takes her in, effectually giving Nina an secure hiding place from Johnny. Nina and Carmela's relationship grows when Nina realizes that Carmela has creeping dementia and thinks that Nina is her granddaughter. Carmela also desperately needs her or someone as a caretaker, housekeeper, cook.

This is also the story of Carmela's only surviving son, Itamar, who leaves Tel Aviv for America with his family, ignoring or delaying attention to his aged mother.

I found it interesting that the novel is also a love story to Israel, intended for those who opt to stay in the country and for those who leave it for a different, more opulent life in the United States.

The national and religious celebrations in Israel, which include Passover, Memorial Day and Independence Day, are described very clearly and well integrated into the plot. The novel is well written, informational about Israel, and the family conflicts and resolutions are quite moving.

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Slow to get my attention but I decided to keep going. Enjoyable and exciting after several chapters. I think Lapid did a good job and I enjoyed learning more about the main character and her life. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. Four stars.

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On Her Own by Lihi Lapid was originally written in Hebrew and has been translated to English. The story is about a young woman living in Israel who gets herself into a complex and dangerous relationship with an older man despite her loving mother's pleas. As I first started reading the book, I was not sure that I would finish it, but then the story picked up and I could not put the book down. The story contains several complex relationships and ties in several Israeli holidays. I found the story and relationships to be heartwarming at times and the book provides a good balance of tension and upbeat tones. In the end, I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.

Thank you to NetGalley and HarperVia for an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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