By Amos Oz, and Nicholas De Lange
Shmuel, a young, idealistic student, is drawn to a mysterious handwritten note on a campus noticeboard. This takes him to a strange house, where an elderly invalid man requires a paid companion, to argue with and read to him. But there is someone else in the house, too… A woman, who is trailed by ghosts from her past.Tweet
This is an absolutely beautiful book, which is painstakingly pure. The deftness of touch by Oz to create a book which is very easy to read yet has some considerable weight to it. It is a book that has stayed with me, partly due to the fact that is as taken me a while to read, but partly because this is written by someone who is a remarkable writer. There is not a word out of place, there are so many excellent descriptions of the characters and bystanders, for example "A diminutive, bespectacled woman, whose face radiated goodwill and kindliness, but who had a slight moustache". I also expect that the translator Nicholas de Lange, who has a considerable history of translating Hebrew into English and of Oz's works, is a real genius too.
I have never read any of Amos Oz's other works before and I now intend to read "A Tale of Love and darkness" based on my experience of reading the book through our reading group. I would recommend this book to others because it is a book full of emotion, yet full of hope for the future, redemption and ugliness too.