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This is Yael Dayan's second book. New Face in the Mirror, while published as fiction last year, seemed autobiographical in flavor. Though honest to the point of stripping the young heroine of any appeal, it lacked the authenticity of fully realized background of the new Israel, or of reflection of the spirit that imbues it. The result was a sense of emptiness...Now comes Envy the Frightened which rather tragically provides the key to the earlier book. It is the story of a sensitive small boy, who is made to feel by his father that he must show no fear, feel no fear. That the father looked back on his boyhood fears in the old country as something to be wiped out, that the father wanted Nimrod to be completely the new Sabra, is never fully realized by the son- until it is almost too late. Meantime Nimrod has defeated fear, and with it tenderness, the capacity for love, the sensitivity that had been his in large measure. He has become the symbol of The Rock, the nickname he wins when his boyhood hero returns, hopelessly crippled, from a meaningless war. This time Yael Dayan has given not only the sense of the new Israel, village and mountain and plain and city, but something of the deep-rooted determination- to the point of unbalance- that dominates the people. Nimrod is no more acceptable as a whole person than was Ariel in the earlier book, but at least one senses hope at the end, and understanding- if not compassion- as one follows the molding of the man from the boy. The novel points a finger of warning. Can any nation live without fear? Without love?

Pub Date: Jan. 17th, 1960
Publisher: World