KETTI SHALOM by James Murdock

KETTI SHALOM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The situation in Halfa, 1947, is the background for pull-devil-pull-baker struggle of British Mandate, the Arabs, and the internal dissension among the Jews; Irgun, Sternist and Rabbinical -- all of which contribute to the story of Ketti Shalom, Rabbi Ahab Abasalom, the British Captain, Michael O'May, (Irish)- and the prison camp of 600 which is his new assignment. Ahab, with Dennish and Moreshok, has been planning an escape to bring in a refugee vessel; O'May's orders are to prevent escape, martyrdom, bloodspilling and to make fair settlements; Ketti's destiny turns out to be the destruction of Ahab's personal power drive, the protection of O'May and the security of her people. Events are hindered, and forwarded, by a storm, the outbreak of malaria and O'May's capitulation, in accordance and yet at odds with Ahab's plan, to Ketti. When the break comes, O'May betrays his trust and lets the insurgents go free to save Ketti, who is their hostage; so a the city take her as spiritual and religious symbol and is unable to prevent the violent destruction that makes her a martyr, common to Arab and Jew and British. The mystical force that arises in crisis and despair is the pivot for an interracial and international affair de coeur -- and courage, and reflects a period of a state-to-be when passions are climaxed in a tight time sequence. Miracles -- contemporary-wise.--

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 1953
Publisher: Random House