The Inbetween People

16096304In The Inbetween People, debut novelist Emma McEvoy weaves together the disparate narratives of a handful of desperate, disenchanted characters to demonstrate that we are all, despite our differences, doing our best to make sense of our fallen, fractured world. Much of the novel focuses on Avi Goldberg, a young Israeli imprisoned for his refusal to serve in his nation’s army. Haunted by the past, Avi lives with the ghosts of his deceased father and grandmother, the still-living mother who abandoned him in his youth, and an Israeli Arab friend named Saleem, whose senseless death left behind a vulnerable widow. As Avi recounts the details of both his own life and that of Saleem, other voices join with his to form a chorus that underscores the parallels of both lives; letters from Avi’s parents and first-hand accounts from Saleem’s widow all point to the fact that both men — and perhaps, by extension, all of humanity — experienced profound losses and personal tragedies throughout their lives. Having grown up amidst the violence and political tumult of the Middle East, both characters bore first-hand witness to the savagery that humans are capable of committing. Yet, as the novel moves forward, what emerges most clearly a distinct note of hope and a sense that we are all more similar than we are different, and that our shared salvation lies in setting the past aside and moving forward together.

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