Amos Oz, an Israeli writer and journalist, born 1939 in Jerusalem, grew up in the early days of the new state in a very academic family from Lithuania, one of the many families who had to flee Europe at the eve of the most terrible war ever.
In this book, he doesn't just tell us about the early days of the new Jewish state and how he grew up, he also reminisces on the past of Jewish culture, literature, language and, more importantly, on his mother's depression and suicide. He has an amazing, very sensitive way to explain not just his own troubles as a child and young man which eventually leads him to a kibbutz where he spends more than thirty years of his life but also the struggles all the adults going through in that time, a lot of them not finding employment in their specialist areas, all of them losing their lives as they knew it.
This is not just the story of a young man and his family, it's a saga about the whole Jewish people from Europe to Israel. Despite all the troubles they went through, this is a very loving story told with much emotion about some very moving subjects.
Amos Oz received the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade (Friedenspreis) in 1992.