From a remarkable new voice, Bethany Ball, comes a transporting debut; a hilarious multigenerational family saga set in Israel, New York, and Los Angeles that explores the secrets and gossip-filled lives of the members of a kibbutz community. Read more...
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From a remarkable new voice, Bethany Ball, comes a transporting debut; a hilarious multigenerational family saga set in Israel, New York, and Los Angeles that explores the secrets and gossip-filled lives of the members of a kibbutz community. Marc Solomon, an Israeli ex-Navy commando now living in L.A., is falsely accused of money laundering through his asset management firm. As the Solomons' Santa Monica home is raided, Marc's American wife, Carolyn--concealing her own dark past--makes hopeless attempts to hold their family of five together. News of the scandal makes its way from America to the rest of the Solomon clan on the kibbutz in the Jordan River Valley, and there we encounter various members of the family and the community--from Marc's self-absorbed movie actress sister, Shira; to his rich and powerful construction magnet father, Yakov; his former star-crossed love, Maya; and his brother-in-law Guy Gever, a local ranger turned "artist." As the secrets and rumors of the kibbutz are revealed through various memories and tales, we witness the things that keep the Solomons together, and those that ultimately tear them apart. Elegant, sexy, and provocative, What to Do About the Solomons weaves contemporary Jewish history through a distinctly modern and very savvy tale of family life. This is an exhilarating first book from a fresh new star in fiction.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2017-02-06
- Reviewer: Staff
Respected leader at his kibbutz, founder of a thriving construction business, 75-year-old patriarch Yakov Solomon is fed up with his children in Balls debut novel about a prosperous, beleaguered Israeli family. Yakov no longer speaks to eldest son Ziv, who lives in Singapore with another man; middle son Dror suffers from severe sibling envy; rich and successful Marcs California investment firm faces criminal investigation; daughter Kerens husband, Guy, cannot control his artistic impulses; and daughter Shira, whose acting career peaked with a bit part in a Harry Potter movie, leaves her 11-year-old son, Joseph, home alone while she visits Hollywood. Money cant solve their problems, and medicationprescribed or illegalonly makes them worse. Marc returns to the kibbutz, his wife stoned, his childhood sweetheart suicidal, his future uncertain, while Joseph assists his half-brothers attempt to run away from army service. Clearly, the Solomons have come a long way from the ideals of the kibbutz in early years. Ball switches points of view for a mosaic of family members and associates in crisis and adrift. Her terse, sharp-edged prose captures settings ranging from an American jail where highest bail is king to a French military post where they havent won a war since Napoleon, but they sure know how to live. For all its humor, penetrating disillusionment underlies Balls memorable portrait of a family, once driven by pioneer spirit, now plagued by overextension and loss of direction, unsure what to do with its legacy, teetering between resentment, remorse, and resilience. Agent: Duvall Osteen, the Aragi Agency. (Apr.)