LYDIA, QUEEN OF PALESTINE by Uri Orlev

LYDIA, QUEEN OF PALESTINE

by , translated by
Age Range: 10 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

 The author of The Man from the Other Side (1991, Batchelder Award) tells the story of another real-life Middle European who survived WW II. Born in Bucharest in 1933, ``Lydia'' is a willful terror. She forces her mother to fire three nannies (though she picks up German and French from the first two); makes anonymous threatening phone calls to a neighbor she imagines is her sworn enemy (``That Woman,'' who lured her father away); and when her mother arranges her escape to Palestine in 1943, she feistily barters for privileges like a window seat on the train. At a kibbutz, awaiting her mother, Lydia designates her new housemother as another enemy, but she does make other friends; and she weathers, without self-pity, sudden immersion in a society without private possessions, though she raises an outcry- -and, as usual, gets action--when the dolls that once belonged to her mother, and that have long enacted her own intense fantasies about her family, are taken from her. She looks up her father, now married to ``That Woman,'' who turns out to be nice; when her mother finally arrives, also remarried, Lydia is able to make peace with both sets of parents. Often outrageous and abrasive, yet also delightfully imaginative, bright, and tenacious, Lydia is the very archetype of a survivor, while her experiences on the periphery of the war's horrors are authentic and fascinating. An afterword notes that the real Lydia still lives on an Israeli kibbutz with her rabbi husband. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-395-65660-5
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1993




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