Wherever You Go, Joan Leegant, W.W. Norton & Company, 2010 (new in paperback, 2011)
Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy a book set in a completely different (non-American) place, and one of the things I loved best about this novel- and which sets it apart - is the setting. Mark Greenglass's story excepted, most of the novel takes place in Jerusalem or in border settlements. As a lively, diverse, complicated and often conflict-ridden place, Israel is a setting rich with opportunity for our characters to consider many facets of love, spirituality, religion, idealism, and extremism. It was especially intriguing to have some insight into the latter, through Aaron and Yona's sister, Dena.
Leegant weaves the characters and setting together into a brisk and intriguing plot - we want to know what will happen - and she sews it all up very neatly, and hopefully, in the end. Some readers may wonder if one needs to have a particular interest in or knowledge of Israeli history or politics to enjoy this novel, but I think it is written to have universal appeal. I highly recommend Wherever You Go to all novel lovers who like an interesting, thoughtful, and compelling read.
Many thanks to the author and the publisher for a complimentary copy of the book. All opinions expressed are my own.