The Sound of Our Steps by Ronit Matalon
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Dalya Bilu, translator
The Sound of Our Steps is an inventive novel of immigration and exile from Ronit Matalon, a major voice in contemporary Israeli fiction. In the beginning there was Lucette, who is the mother to three children—Sammy, a gentle giant, almost blind, but a genius with locks; Corinne, a flighty beauty who cannot keep a job; and “the child,” an afterthought, who strives to make sense of her fractured Egyptian-Jewish immigrant family. Lucette’s children would like a kinder, warmer home, but what they have is a government-issued concrete box, out in the thorns and sand on the outskirts of Tel Aviv; and their mother, hard-worn and hardscrabble, who cleans homes by night and makes school lunches by day. Lucette quarrels with everybody, speaks only Arabic and French, is scared only of snakes, and is as likely to lock her children out as to take in a stray dog.
Source: Jewish Book Council
Review in the Examiner:
Israeli books: Ronit Matalon’s autobiographic novel The Sound of Our Steps