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Drawing in the Dust

By Zoe Klein (Simon & Schuster, paperback, May 2010, $15.00)

Lyrical and moving, fast paced and fascinating, Drawing in the Dust tells the timeless story of infectious love that transcends time and cultural barriers.

Set in modern Israel, it bears echoes of the bomb riddled world we see on the nightly news, but also renders a world rich with the juxtaposition of history and modernity with a view as profound as the ancient cistern where an American archaeologist unearths a provocative national treasure while she discovers her own capacity for living fully.

Paige Brookstone is a successful archaeologist working at the ancient Jewish site of Megiddo when she is approached by an elderly Arab couple who ask her to excavate under their home, which they believe is haunted.  In an impulsive decision born from her own dissatisfaction with her life, she agrees and sets herself on a path that will change not only her own life, but those of countless others, forever.

With a finely drawn cast of characters, including several Israeli graduate students, an enigmatic Orthodox scholar, and the wonderful Arab couple, this book was a haunting and joyous read.

Reviewed by Annie Leonard
The Next Chapter, Knoxville, Iowa

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