The Lonely Tree

Yael Politis

1944, British Mandate Palestine, Tonia’s parents take her and her brother and sister to live on Kfar Etzion, an isolated and struggling religious kibbutz south of Jerusalem. Fifteen-year-old Tonia does not believe that her father’s dream – a sovereign Jewish state – will ever come to be. Life on the kibbutz is harsh, and Tonia dreams of security and a little comfort, though material wealth for its own sake is not what she longs for. She wants something simple – to bring up her children under a roof of her own, in a place where they won’t feel constantly threatened. She is determined to seek this different life in America, as soon as she is old enough – even though that means turning her back on her love for Amos Amrani, a handsome young Yemenite who belongs to the Jewish underground. Much of this novel takes place in Kfar Etzion, during its establishment, siege, and fall to the Arab Legion during hostilities immediately prior to Israel’s War of Independence – resulting in the massacre of its surviving defenders. A later part of the story is set in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Tonia tries to find her new life. This is one of very few English novels that take place in British Mandate Palestine and the only one that tells the story of Kfar Etzion. While the characters are fictional, historical events are accurately portrayed. The Lonely Tree, however, does not read like a history book. It is a character-driven love story with no political agenda. The Lonely Tree of the title still stands today.

“The writing is very eloquent and the story flowed beautifully.  The narrative is moving, with humour and pathos and is also very informative about a specific part of Jewish history.I would highly recommend this book.” BookRabbit, reviewed by Ruth H.

“The book is well written, with evocative descriptions, gripping action, well-realized characters, and authentic appeals to the emotions.” ezine@rticles, reviewed by Elma Schemenauer

“Politis’ style is restrained, economical and mostly understated. She is a remarkably unobtrusive author. I believe that you will find not a single dull paragraph in this entire work. It is a gripping insight into the psyche of several different kinds of person, a vivid account of the forces that drive both human idealism and human destructiveness.” Gold Dust Magazine, London, reviewed by David Gardener

“The author’s writing style is excellent, it flows well and tells the story in such a way that it is immediately interesting … Yael Politis is an excellent author who really knows how to make a story readable, this is a book that everyone should read at some

  • Jewish Fiction
  • Historical Fiction (British Mandate Palestine and State of Israel 1934-1967)
  • Published by Holland Park Press, London
  • 444 pages
  • ISBN: 978-1-907320-08-8
  • ASIN: B00D1CU62Q
 

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