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Publisher's Summary

A moving novel about the fates of two women and those they love in the days surrounding the founding of the State of Israel.

Jerusalem, 1947: Judith, a young Jewish woman who survived Dachau concentration camp, arrives in Palestine after a treacherous journey and seeks refuge with her only remaining relative, her uncle. When Judith learns her uncle has died, she tries to take her own life in despair.

In Hadassah Hospital, Hana, an Arab nurse, saves Judith’s life by donating her own blood. A fragile bond of friendship develops between the two women, but it will face a harsh test over time.

Soon Hana’s fiancé Youssef learns that she, the daughter of a prominent Palestinian family, is in love with a Jewish doctor, and he becomes increasingly radicalized. Youssef joins the followers of a mufti who plans to drive the Jews into the sea. Judith, meanwhile, follows the Jewish Palmach officer Uri into the battle for Jerusalem. 

Then the political situation worsens. In November, the United Nations adopts the Partition Plan for Palestine - and the violence erupts. 

Author Werner Sonne worked for more than forty years as a television correspondent for ARD in Germany and abroad. He’s a sought-after expert in the fields of foreign and security policy. His intention for this novel was to show the human face of the Jerusalem conflict.

©2019 Werner Sonne. (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Where the Desert Meets the Sea

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Just could not finish this book

The narration of this book made it impossible to finish. The mispronunciation of names and almost monotone sound of her voice really irked me.

5 people found this helpful

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Historical Fiction Relevant to Current Events

This heart wrenching historical fiction tells the story of the creation of the modern Jewish state in 1948. It is seen through the eyes of a young Jewish woman who was liberated from a Nazi concentration camp at the end of WWII and fled to Palestine.
The book is well researched. It held my interest in a way that a documentary history might not. It gave me a deeper understanding of the Arab / Isreali conflict that erupted in 1948 and continue unabated today.
One thread in the story is the bond between an Arab nurse and the Jewish heroine. It showed how friendship and peace are possible when people are willing set aside their religious and cultural differences and be "humans first".

5 people found this helpful

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Hard to finish

I had a hard time finishing this one. I generally like historical fiction, but this one was pretty heavy handed with the depressing detail of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Plus, it was hard to follow all the Hebrew names in an audio book - two characters had similar names, which was confusing. The editing was also poor - there were no pauses in narration between sections in a chapter. It sounded the narrator was just reading the next sentence rather than pausing to let the listener understand we were changing to the story of another character.

4 people found this helpful

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Unbelievable!

This book makes it clear as to what is happening in the Middle East, regarding the fight over the historic city of Jerusalem.

3 people found this helpful

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Interesting, unbiased, sadly true

I have read much about this time in our history. The author shows the facts on both sides. It is sad that this remains a problem. Excellent book!

3 people found this helpful

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Mispronunciations all over the place.

If you’re going to narrate an audiobook with a lot of words and names in a different language, would it be so hard to look up the proper pronunciations? That said, if you’re going to hire someone to narrate your audiobook, would it be so hard to hire someone who can pronounce the words in the book?

So distracting.

6 people found this helpful

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such a time suck

I completely appreciate novels based on fact but mingled with fiction, however, this author leaves so much hanging at the end. it seems like the story could have been a bit longer to tie up the many loose ends. I DO NOT recommend this book.

2 people found this helpful

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Perfect story of a continuing epic struggle

Superbly researched, beautifully crafted historical fiction with a very fitting ending that represented the ongoing struggle for Israel. Who would want a trite fabricated ending? Rather Werner Sonne's ending represents the ongoing tragic conflict while reminding the read that there are moments of beauty and happiness that should always be grasped with both hands.

This is my first audiobook narrated by Coleen and I truly hope it will not be my last - the pacing and characterisation was excellent. Usually I have to mess with the speed of the audio and no tampering necessary at any point in the book. This is a rare strength.

1 person found this helpful

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Narrator mispronounces characters’ Hebrew names!

Sloppy that narrator says common Hebrew names inaccurately. Story is interesting and describes the time of Israel’s independence. Also a great. historical fiction text.

5 people found this helpful

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Fascinating story

I really appreciated the story and the multitude of perspectives in this novel. However, because the perspectives from various characters changed abruptly, it was challenging at times to track with the narrative as I listened to the audible book. I would be curious if reading the book would be easier.