The Lover

A Novel

by Rebecca Sacks

On Sale: 08/01/2023

The Lover

Enlarge Book Cover

The Lover

A Novel

by Rebecca Sacks

On Sale: 08/01/2023


About the Book

The author of the acclaimed City of a Thousand Gates returns with an intense, page-turning love story between a twenty-seven year old Canadian woman and a nineteen-year old Israeli soldier, set in contemporary Israel.

The story of Allison and Eyal unfolds primarily in Tel Aviv where Allie, a thoughtful and intelligent academic searching for a sense of where she belongs in the world, falls deeply and unexpectedly in love with a young Israeli doing his military service. Their love story is sensual, filled with pleasure, longing, fear, moments of deep connection, failures of communication, and ultimately, a quiet and devastating betrayal. Their romance has a rhythm private and unique to them: when he is away on military missions, they write love letters; when he returns home for weekends, they are entwined and inseparable.

Allie is embraced by Eyal’s family, and their acceptance is very important to her. But when Eyal returns home from an invasion of Gaza, to which he has a surprising emotional response, Allie has changed so radically that her betrayal of her lover feels both shocking and tragic.

The Lover is a provocative, immersive, gorgeously written love story reminiscent of Marguerite Duras’ classic novel. Both books portray a seductive love affair in a colonial setting, atmospheric and rich with foreign detail, that raises unsettling questions about inequality, conflict, intensity, war, and danger. At once beautiful and disturbing, propulsive and poignant, The Lover will entrance readers and hold them spellbound.

Critical Praise

“Sacks is an extraordinarily gifted writer whose intelligence, compassion, and skill on both the sentence and tension level rise to meet her ambition. She keeps us constantly on edge.” — Washington Post on City of a Thousand Gates

“Intersecting lives in modern-day Israel and Palestine overlap in a tapestry of tales in this compelling, rich novel that delves into universal themes of homeland, freedom, and true security.” — on City of a Thousand Gates

“Reads devastatingly true. . . . A novel that resists offering a false sense of hope in the face of conflict.” — New York Times Book Review on City of a Thousand Gates

“An American novel manages, for once, to get Israel right. . . . I loved it. By the end of the novel, I was emotionally exhausted but also deeply appreciative of the care and nuance on every page, and the plot’s purposeful irresolution.” — Los Angeles Times on City of a Thousand Gates

“A brilliantly rendered novel raises crucial questions about identity, justice, war, and belonging. . . . Sacks’ talent as a novelist who takes on thorny, multifaceted, unanswerable questions is clearly unmatched.” — Kirkus Reviews

“The heroine of Sacks’s poignant second novel (after City of a Thousand Gates) revisits a summer romance with longing and the wisdom of hindsight. . . . Cultural differences and the age gap between the lovers . . . [impacts] the relationship, and Sacks renders it all in sensual prose . . . .” — Publishers Weekly

“A haunting portrait of a love affair against the backdrop of an Israeli incursion into Gaza. . . . The novel builds to a stunning and unexpected climax, with the horrors of the ongoing conflict bringing out very different reactions in the two leads. Nuanced and unsettling, Sacks' novel will resonate with readers long after they've turned the final page.” — Booklist (starred review)

"Sacks’ sophomore effort deftly imagines both the basic beauty of young love and the stunning complexity and emotional dissonance of life in Israel." — Elle


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780063284234
  • ISBN 10: 0063284235
  • Imprint: Harper
  • On Sale: 08/01/2023
  • Pages: 288
  • List Price:35.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / Literary
  • BISAC2 : FICTION / Psychological
  • BISAC3 : FICTION / Political

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