Lea, Avishag and Yael are school friends in a small town in northern Israel. During dull lessons they play the game Exquisite Corpse and daydream about the boys they fancy. When they hit eighteen they are conscripted into the army. Stuck on checkpoint duty with fellow soldiers she hates, Lea relieves her boredom by creating an imaginary family ...
Lea, Avishag and Yael are school friends in a small town in northern Israel. During dull lessons they play the game Exquisite Corpse and daydream about the boys they fancy. When they hit eighteen they are conscripted into the army. Stuck on checkpoint duty with fellow soldiers she hates, Lea relieves her boredom by creating an imaginary family life for a dishevelled Palestinian man that passes every day; Yael takes to sleeping with a boy she is training, in between breaking up and getting back together with her boyfriend at home; and Avishag's days are spent guarding the Egyptian border, catching smugglers and watching Sudanese refugees throw themselves on the barbed wire fence. They wait in the dust for something to happen, caught in that single, intense second before danger erupts.
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Publishers Weekly, 2012-07-09 Here's what we all know about Israel: it's constantly preparing for war, fighting a war, and recovering from war. And everyone, male or female (except the ultra-Orthodox), serves in the Israeli Defense Forces. Here's what we probably don't know, and what Boianjiu's impressive debut gives us some inkling of: what it's like to be a teenage girl in the army. Yael, Avishag, and Lea, who grew up together in a tiny town built on the Israel-Lebanon border to "jewdify the Galilee," join up in time for the 2006 war with Lebanon. They train men to shoot, do guard duty, and work on a checkpoint: their days are boring, funny, occasionally dangerous, and frequently surreal. Sometimes the three girls blur together, but mostly Boianjiu's in control of what she wants to blur. Her POV shifts and rapid-fire language reflect the ongoing merger of ordinary life and PTSD and how the heightened awareness of a country on permanent alert turns into a kind of moral slackness, with results that range from inconsequential to horrifying. If at times we aren't sure whether to believe some of the more extreme details, that blur-between what we suspect is false but fear is true-is likely deliberate, another thing Boianjiu wants us to understand about this country we talk about so much and know so little about. Agent: The Wylie Agency. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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