Intelligent, evocative and darkly comic, Naama Goldstein's collection introduces a remarkable talent. In these sharply focused stories, the line between nation and self is as elusive as the distinction between past and present, fear and desire, the real and the imagined.
Against a backdrop that spans from the Galilean wilderness to midtown Manhattan, and from the 1970s to the present, the inhabitants of these stories struggle to feel at home in foreign and sometimes unwelcoming lands. In "A Pillar of a Cloud," a young American babysitting her Israeli cousins scandalizes the children when she invites an Arab roofer for dinner. "The Worker Rests Under the Hero Trees" features a twenty-something Israeli expatriate vying for romance with a childhood hero turned cranberry expert. "Anatevka Tender" stands on a fault line between ideologies as a mother who blames herself for her elder son's battle shock following the Lebanon War resettles her children in the suburban safety of an East Coast condo.
The brilliantly observed and haunting stories of The Place Will Comfort You illustrate the cultural divide between American and Israeli Jews -- and the difficulties of moving between these two vastly different worlds.