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Review of ‘More Than I Love My Life,’ by David Grossman

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Israeli author David Grossman’s new novel More Than I Love My Life, translated by Jessica Cohen (Knopf, August 2021), has been praised by critics as “captivating” and “powerful,” a “delicately crafted novel” that is a “remarkable achievement to [his] long list.” Yet despite all the praise, I can’t help but say that it left me a bit disappointed.

Goli Otok is a barren, uninhabited island off the coast of Croatia. In the early 1950s, it was home to a notorious political prison. The novel flashbacks to when the fictional 90-year-old Vera was held on Goli Otok for refusing to denounce her husband as an enemy of Josip Broz Tito’s communist state. These flashbacks are indeed powerful, but the novel is much more than a historical account of those tragic events.

Instead, it focuses on the intergenerational relations between Vera; her daughter, Nina; and her granddaughter, Gili. Along with her father, Gili sets out to make a documentary of Vera’s return to the island. Their unlikely journey reveals intertwined layers of familial love and betrayal that transcend the........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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