Moving Kings stars the beleaguered owner of a moving company that handles eviction in addition to regular moves, and two Israeli veterans, working illegally for him as a family favor. I very much enjoyed the first part of the book, that describes the complicated relationship of the owner and his faithful assistant, the messy reality of running a small, scrappy company, and also the disorientation of the first veteran who tries to fit into a “normal” civilian life.
The second half is a heavier slog, comparing the evictions to the heavy-handed military presence in the Gaza strip. It’s not entirely convincing.
Suddenly, Love stars an aging, lonely man and a young(ish) woman he hires to take care of him and his house. He is smart and well read and she is devoted and uneducated.
I suppose it should have read as a lovely and unlikely May-December romance. I read it as run of the mill exploitation of younger women as personal servants. Call me a feminist.
If you like spy novels, why not read the real thing? Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service devotes a chapter to each of 20+ operations of the Israeli intelligence agency, some flawlessly executed and a few not so much. Bodies pile up, including collateral-damage bodies, as do violations of other states’ sovereignty, but that never seems to bother the authors. It bothered me — plus, I have not liked spy novels since I got weaned off the Bibliotheque Verte of my childhood.
Great House is a novel but is built like a collection of short stories, all connected by an immense desk that has travelled a lot through a troubled 20th century. The impressionistic stories make it difficult to discern the overall plot — which is probably the point but is lost on me, of course! All of the stories have isolated brilliant insights: the husband who feels he gets less attention than the potted plant, the tough teenager who sobs at his grandmother’s funeral, the soldier who walks away from his dying comrade, and one story I found truly gripping, the one of the father who simply cannot seem to forge a close bond with his son but keeps trying. That one would be three stars, or more.