The author of the acclaimed City of a Thousand Gates returns with an intense, page-turning love story between a twenty-seven year old Canadian woman and a nineteen-year old Israeli soldier, set in contemporary Israel.
The story of Allison and Eyal unfolds primarily in Tel Aviv where Allie, a thoughtful and intelligent academic searching for a sense of where she belongs in the world, falls deeply and unexpectedly in love with a young Israeli doing his military service. Their love story is sensual, filled with pleasure, longing, fear, moments of deep connection, failures of communication, and ultimately, a quiet and devastating betrayal. Their romance has a rhythm private and unique to them: when he is away on military missions, they write love letters; when he returns home for weekends, they are entwined and inseparable.
Allie is embraced by Eyal’s family, and their acceptance is very important to her. But when Eyal returns home from an invasion of Gaza, to which he has a surprising emotional response, Allie has changed so radically that her betrayal of her lover feels both shocking and tragic.
The Lover is a provocative, immersive, gorgeously written love story reminiscent of Marguerite Duras’ classic novel. Both books portray a seductive love affair in a colonial setting, atmospheric and rich with foreign detail, that raises unsettling questions about inequality, conflict, intensity, war, and danger. At once beautiful and disturbing, propulsive and poignant, The Lover will entrance readers and hold them spellbound.
Rebecca "Bee" Sacks (they/she) holds an MFA from the Programs in Writing at the University of California, Irvine. Their debut novel, City of a Thousand Gates, was awarded the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for fiction in 2023. A former journalist, they worked at Vanity Fair for several years before moving to Israel/Palestine to study sacred Jewish texts. Bee now lives in Los Angeles with their dog, Pupik.
Rebecca Sacks photo courtesy of Alexandra Kacha.