WHEN I WAS A SOLDIER by Valérie Zenatti

WHEN I WAS A SOLDIER

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Age Range: 14 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The theme of compulsory military service for both men and women in Israel makes this author’s memoir unusual. Although no reason is given, her family has recently emigrated from France and her friends are from the former Soviet bloc, so there is no family experience with the draft. She recalls the months before beginning her two-year enlistment as she and her friends face school tests, dating, sex and the unknown world of wearing a uniform. She is sympathetic to the Palestinians except when it comes to giving back any of Jerusalem, but like many non-religious Jews, she is definitely not sympathetic to observant Jews and makes no mention of their alternatives to military service. She describes her military service years filled with training, bus rides across Israel, special missions and chasing after a boyfriend in Jerusalem who has moved on to a new lover. There is, by the conclusion of her military stint, a growth in character—and the arrogance of those who are younger and believe they are smarter than the previous generation gives way to an appreciation of the work done by the army. Recommended for its different perspective on life in contemporary Israel. (Nonfiction. YA)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2005
ISBN: 1-58234-978-9
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2005




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