On Her Own by Lihi Lapid

On Her Own by Lihi Lapid

Translator: Son­dra Sil­ver­ston

A moving, page-turning story of two families in crisis and the unexpected places from which love can grow.

Nina, a teenage runaway, wakes up in the unfamiliar stairwell of a Tel Aviv apartment in a torn minidress. As her memory starts to resurface—the abusive older man she’s running away from, the crime she witnessed—she knows one thing: she needs to find a place to hide.

When one of the building’s tenants, Carmela, a lonely old widow suffering from memory loss, mistakes Nina for her granddaughter she hasn’t seen in years, Nina jumps at the opportunity for a safe haven. Soon, the two strangers become each other’s lifeline as Nina settles into the apartment with sweet, reassuring Carmela.

Meanwhile, Irina, a Russian immigrant, is living a parent’s worst nightmare: her only daughter has gone missing. She knows Nina got involved with the wrong men and will do anything to find her. Across the ocean, Itamar feels that something is happening to his mom, Carmela. The guilt over having left Israel for his pursuit of the American dream stirs childhood memories in him and a longing for the family that once was complete.

Set between the eve of Passover and Israel’s Independence Day, On Her Own is a tense and immersive psychological read about two families looking for redemption and the transformative bonds between strangers.

Year first published: 2024

Read a review on Jewish Book Council

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1 Response

  1. Yehudit says:

    I couldn’t put this book down. The narrative and the descriptions of each character are so vivid. Lovely translation. I felt the book as a whole gives an initimate, personalized perspective (albeit, fiction) of what life in Israel is really like. The affinity to the Land, the care, warmth & concern that Carmella & Irina’s neighbors show them, the yearning for a son killed in battle. Really a beautiful novel.

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