THREE WEEKS IN OCTOBER by Yael Dayan

THREE WEEKS IN OCTOBER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

After the Egyptian attack on Yom Kippur, 1973, Amalia Darom rushes to a Tel Aviv hospital to volunteer to tend the wounded that start quickly piling in. And in her burn ward, there's a horribly burned soldier without identification. Meanwhile, Amalia's husband Daniel, ostensibly a reservist but actually a member of Israeli intelligence, goes off to the Sinai front, where he joins a unit about to enter Suez City--and is soon sent on a mission to find an operative whom he himself recruited years back; he can't find him in Suez, and while there he's wounded in an ambush. Back in Tel Aviv, Amalia's unknown soldier finally dies. Eventually these two strands meet: the unidentified dead soldier was ""Phoenix,"" Daniel's operative. Not surprisingly, Dayan (Moshe's daughter) has easy authority when writing both about intelligence and military operations; Amalia's psychological shock reads less well. Yet even if Dayan is neither a fine writer nor much of a psychologist--not an Amos Oz or a Yehoshua--she grabs and releases the catharsis of quick death, the concentrated fear and mourning and national apprehension that Israel faced in '73. This is clearly a book for overseas consumption, with lots of background explanation, but the impact is sharp and often heartbreaking.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1979
Publisher: Delacorte