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Penguin Random House

The Red Balcony | Jonathan Wilson

The Red Balcony | Jonathan Wilson

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It’s 1933, and Ivor Castle, Oxford-educated and Jewish, arrives in Palestine, then under the British Mandate, to take up a position as assistant to the defense counsel in a sensational trial. He will help represent two men accused of murdering Haim Arlosoroff, a leader of the Jewish community in Palestine whose efforts to get Jews out of Hitler’s Germany and into Palestine may have been controversial enough to get him killed.
    While preparing for the trial, Ivor, an innocent to the politics of the case, falls into bed and deeply in love with Tsiona, a free-spirited artist who may be a key witness. As Ivor learns the hard way about the violence simmering just beneath the surface of British colonial rule, Wilson dazzles with his portrayal of a complex, sun-drenched landscape and the warring agendas among the Jews, Arabs, and British.
    As Ivor travels between the crime scene in Tel Aviv and the mazelike streets of Jerusalem, between the mounting mysteries surrounding this notorious case and clandestine lovemaking in Tsiona’s studio, he must discover where his heart lies: whether he cares more for the law or the truth, where and with whom he truly belongs. For the reader, this gripping historical novel provides foundational pieces in the insoluble puzzle of a region whose struggles still tear us apart.

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