by Zahava Englard
Spanning the years 1982 to 2002, the settings in The Gilboa Iris are many including Israel’s Gilboa Mountains, New York City and Germany’s Zehlendorf Forest.
It’s the love story between Dara Harow, an American, and Roni Ben-Ari, an Israeli soldier. They meet and fall in love on an Israeli kibbutz, but little do they know how their love will be challenged. The first of these challenges is Dara’s loyalty to her parents who disapprove of Roni. Many more challenges follow, creating a spine tingling mystery.
The characters are well developed to the point that, at times, you will likely feel Dara’s happiness, loneliness and fear. Her time in New York City is particularly chilling and suspenseful. If I have one criticism it would be that the author did not continue this intensity as Dara tried to return to Israel.
This is Zahava Englard’s first sojourn into the realm of fiction and given The Gilboa Iris, I believe it would be a travesty if it was her last. This is a wonderful story full of romance, mystery and intrigue.