An immediate #1 bestseller upon publication in September 2002.
Michael Yoffe, 55, father of twins, and, in his opinion, the only normal person in the Yoffe family – tells the story of his life. It starts with his grandfather and grandmother who came to the valley - he was on foot, she was riding on his back and continues with the daughters of the family: Hannah, Michael’s mother, a fanatic vegetarian, who is betrayed by both her husband and her son; the beautiful Pnina, who was forced to give her son to her father and has locked herself in at home; Batya, who married a German and was deported, with him, to Australia, during World War II; and the small, smart Rachel, who, since her husband was killed in the Independence War (1948), has not been able to sleep alone.
In his uniquely lush and humorous style, Meir Shalev has written the ultimate saga.
France, Gallimard; Holland, Ambo/Anthos; Israel, Am Oved; Italy, Frassinelli; Russia, Text Publishers; Switzerland, Diogenes Verlag
"A mixture of sense of commitment to the family and to the erotic make Shalev’s book a cheerful reading.” – Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“A family story full of symbols, magic, miracles, sensuality, love, cabal hatred, and --- full of freaks.” – Die Welt
“Above all, this is a novel about love. About love for a place, for family, for time, for a friend, for a beloved woman. The innovation in this book lies in part in the surprising depth of the connection between the story and the love, between the ability to remember and the ability to love. …Shalev’s proven ability to create a palpable character with a few lines gets an extra dimension in this novel.” – Ha’aretz
“A coherent portrayal of a family, extending over four generations… the description of a bizarre and eccentric world that has no need for social or historical frameworks…" – Neue Zuericher Zeitung
“Shalev tells the story of a Jewish family with tenderness, sadness, courage, confidence and a never-ending humor.” – Hamburger Abendblatt
“Meir Shalev tells his tale in a language that is eccentric and masterly at the same time...a wonderful book.” – Nuernberger Zeitung
“Like all of Shalev’s novels, this one is melancholic and comical at the same time, and full of magic.” – Darmstaedter Echo