Raquela: A Woman Of Israel Book Review

Sometimes, when we live through major historical events, we find that we see the world through different eyes.

Raquela: A Woman Of History, By Ruth Gruber is a biography that reads like a fiction novel.

Raquela Prywes (nee Levy) is born at a unique point in history. The child of an Ashkenazi (Eastern European) father and a Sephardi (Middle Eastern/Iberian Peninsula) mother, Raquela is a sabra, a native of Israel. She comes of age as Israel fights of her independence. Working as a nurse and a midwife, ¬†she works tirelessly through the events that shaped Israel’s early years. As her life changes, it mirrors the changes that her homeland is experiencing.

Originally published in 1979, I read this book many years ago. Her story is compelling and told in a way that does not feel like a boring biography. Ms. Gruber, a journalist by trade, infuses her characters with life and vitality. Sometimes, when a writer is trying to infuse a fiction like aspect to a biography, the story often reads as dry. But not this book. Another quality that I like about this book is that against history and everything that is going in the region at the period, Raquela remains strong and true to herself.

I recommend it.


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