Nominated for the Sapir Prize (the Israeli equivalent of the Booker award)
At the end of a magical evening in a sumptuous restaurant in Paris, lovers Nati and Nili have a strange and disturbing encounter with a French millionaire. Nine years later, now married and raising their daughter as well as Nati’s child from his first marriage, they receive a phone call from the millionaire which upsets the fragile balance of their lives. He is coming to Israel and wants to see them again.
THE VISIT, a poignant and sometimes painful portrait of a modern family, examines those fateful choices we sometimes let slip through the cracks in our daily lives. Hila Blum tests the strength of the bonds between family members, reconstituting for us moments of uncertainty we were too quick to smooth over, emotions we suppressed too hurriedly and insights that were too late in coming.
The debut novel by a renowned editor of Israeli literature, THE VISIT appeared on the bestseller lists in Israel almost immediately upon its publication.
Germany, Berlin Verlag; Holland, Bezije Bij; Israel, Kinneret Zmora Bitan; Poland, Filo
“Describing the plot of Hila Blum’s debut novel feels a bit like describing a jazz musician’s outfit; it is an integral part of the artistic experience but such a minor and incidental one. The main engine driving Blum’s moving and impressive novel are the unique and complex voices she is able to create, voices that describe, with a deft and confident hand, a heart-shattering and anxiety-filled world….With a phenomenal control of language and an insightful consciousness that never ceases to challenge and stimulate her readers, Blum needs no more than her first novel to convince us that a powerful and unique new author has entered the literary scene. A writer who…masterfully uses her unique writing talent to think and, even more importantly, to make her readers think”. – Etgar Keret
“With smart and compelling prose, Hila Blum’s debut novel The Visit reveals the enigmatic and paradoxical aspects of family life: luminous and dark, morose and comic. Blum works wonders in describing the high and low tides of life; she moves between mundane routine and profound spiritual depth. Her style is polished, precise and natural. This is a particularly impressive novel”. – Zeruya Shalev
"Hila Blum's first novel shows her ability to convey volatile domestic situations with style and grace. Most of all, this reflective novel about a family succeeds through a sensitive exploration of its characters and through a virtuosity of language." – Freie Presse
"Powerfully eloquent and vivid writing … [T]he amazingly quiet conclusion of the novel inspires admiration for women and for how they navigate life's difficult situations." – Nordwest Zeitung
"Hila Blum’s great debut novel presents us with a language of eloquent tones, full of poetry and wise observations … A subtle, clever, expressive novel. Simply great!"– Hamburger Morgenpost
“...[A] brilliant debut!” – Mannheimer Morgen
“Hila Blum presents a fantastic debut novel brimming with poesy and great power of observation, written in quiet but magniloquent tones. … A subtle, wise, powerful novel. Simply fantastic!!” – Hamburger Morgenpost
“Acclaimed by the press and bestselling author Zeruya Shalev, Hila Blum's debut novel The Visit sensitively and precisely dissects the problems of a patchwork family. …[R]emains exciting until the surprising end.” – Brigitte
“The Visit is a beautiful debut…reminiscent of A.B. Yehoshua, the master of the family novel. Blum also peers through a magnifying glass at children who fail to live up to their parents’ expectations, mothers and mothers-in-law at the end of their lives, sisters who have gone crazy.”
“Blum, for more than a decade an editor at one of Israel’s most distinguished publishers, also knows just how to build suspense…In this debut novel, Blum is revealed to be a new talent on the Israeli literary scene.” – Michel Krielaars, NRC
“Blum’s story unfolds with tremendous restraint She understands that she has no need for a spectacular plot. The suspense is there in any event. The Visit is a dazzlingly accurate picture of family life.”
“Almost all the scenes, apart from the calamities, happen in confined spaces. In a car, in an apartment, in a windowless office. Nili [Blum’s protagonist] tiptoes in a suffocating environment… Add the sultry, irksome Jerusalem heat, and you have a bomb from a good home.” – Persis Bekkering, de Volksrant
“Don’t wait until Hila Blum is listed for the Sapir Prize. You should read her first novel now… Written with heart-wrenching talent.” – Tslil Avraham, Yedioth Aharonot
“A wonderful book, full of treasures ... Perhaps the best book of the year.” – Yoel Kohen, La-Isha
“…Written with great talent... excellent dialogue… I'm surprised that it is only her first book.” – Aharon Meged, Globes