Strangers with the Same Dream
A brilliant, astonishing and politically timely page-turner set in 1921 Palestine, from the author of the bestselling novel Far to Go, nominated for the Man Booker Prize.This spare, beautifully written, shocking and timely novel whisks us back to 1921 Palestine, when a band of young Jewish pioneers, many escaping violence in their homelands, set out to realize a utopian dream: the founding of a kibbutz on a patch of land that will, twenty-five years later, become part of the State of Israel. Writing with tightly controlled intensity, Alison Pick takes us inside the minds of her vastly different characters--two young unmarried women, one plain and one beautiful, escaping peril in Russia and Europe; one older man, a charismatic group leader who is married with two children; and his wife, Hannah, who understands all too well the dark side of "equality"--to show us how idealism quickly tumbles into pragmatism, and how the utopian dream is punctured by messy human entanglements. This is also the story of the land itself (present-day Israel and Palestine), revealing with compassion and terrible irony how the pioneers chose to ignore the subtle but undeniable fact that their valley was already populated, home to a people whose lives they did not entirely understand.Writing with extraordinary power, Pick creates unforgettably human characters who, isolated in the enclosure of their hard-won utopian dream, are haunted by ghosts, compromised by unbearable secrets, and finally, despite flashes of love and hope, worn down by hardship, human frailty, and the pull of violent confrontation. The novel's utterly shocking but satisfying conclusion will have readers flipping back to the first page to trace patterns and wrestle with the question of what is, or is not, inevitable and knowable in the human heart.

Strangers with the Same Dream Details

TitleStrangers with the Same Dream
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 29th, 2017
PublisherKnopf Canada
ISBN-139780345810458
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Politics, Cultural, Israel, Contemporary

Strangers with the Same Dream Review

  • Esil
    January 1, 1970
    3+ stars. I wanted to like Strangers With The Same Dream more than I did. Alison Pick took an interesting risk with this one, both in terms of the topic and structure. The story is set in Palestine in the 1920s as a group of Jews who have recently immigrated from European countries work to set up a Kibbutz. Pick has chosen to tell the same story from three points of view in three successive narratives. Ida is 18 years, very naive and idealistic, and inadvertently thrown into the middle of compli 3+ stars. I wanted to like Strangers With The Same Dream more than I did. Alison Pick took an interesting risk with this one, both in terms of the topic and structure. The story is set in Palestine in the 1920s as a group of Jews who have recently immigrated from European countries work to set up a Kibbutz. Pick has chosen to tell the same story from three points of view in three successive narratives. Ida is 18 years, very naive and idealistic, and inadvertently thrown into the middle of complicated personal politics between members of the Kibbutz. David is the ostensible not particularly likeable leader who relies heavily on the view that marriage is a bourgeois institution to justify his actions. Hannah is David's wife, and she experiences the tragic consequences of David's personality flaws. The historical context is fascinating and Pick plumbs its political, social and ethical complexities. However, there were a couple of things that significantly weakened the reading experience for me. First, the personal politics between the characters felt overly dramatic and seemed to replicate much fiction or reality based on a male narcissistic character who exploits his relationship with women. Second, the three parallel narratives ended up feeling a bit gimmicky and repetitive -- unfortunately, Hannah's is the most compelling and yet it comes at the end. Having said all of that, I have a lot of respect for Pick for taking on this fascinating and fraught historical context. I don't regret reading Strangers With The Same Dream, but it makes me feel like reading more non fiction about the history of Kibbutz. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
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  • Penny (Literary Hoarders)
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes strange and dreamlike.
  • Avi Bendahan
    January 1, 1970
    **Special thanks to the team at Penguin who sent me an advance copy of this book**I was vacillating between a 3 or 4 star rating for this one for quite some time, but decided to go up mainly due to the fact that a lot of the things I wasn't crazy about regarding this book were more a question of taste than they were of technique in the writing. Tacking the settling of the land that would one day become the State of Israel as her starting point, Alison Pick chooses to set her story in the early d **Special thanks to the team at Penguin who sent me an advance copy of this book**I was vacillating between a 3 or 4 star rating for this one for quite some time, but decided to go up mainly due to the fact that a lot of the things I wasn't crazy about regarding this book were more a question of taste than they were of technique in the writing. Tacking the settling of the land that would one day become the State of Israel as her starting point, Alison Pick chooses to set her story in the early days of the soon-to-be state's (rather modern) history. Detailing the travails and hardships that these early settlers had to contend with, as well as backgrounds so varied you can hardly imagine another endeavor that would bring together such a diverse group of people, Pick knows how to tug at her reader's heartstrings without having recourse to overt sentimentality. Along with a ghostly 'Who is this?' presence, these characteristics make the first part of the novel, narrated by Ida, the most engrossing to me. The novel's middle part, dealing with roughly the same timeline but this time narrated by a new character, is where it started to lose me a little bit as I quickly began to loathe the narrator and his choices, as well as wonder where exactly this was all going. While the third and final part, again narrated from a new point of view, did in fact give me some answers (some more predictable than others), I finished the novel wanting more. Perhaps it was my early, and arguably strongest, attachment to Ida that is the source of my feeling slightly unfulfilled, but I couldn't help but sense that she was relegated too far into the background in the second and third parts of the book, after being such a central pillar in the first one. Nonetheless, the writing and setting are quite breathtaking, and one certainly leaves with the sense that whether it was in it's earliest bare stages, or in it's modern metropolis-tic setting, Israel has always been (and most likely will always continue to be) a land that both uniquely calls to people, but also challenges them in ways they could not have anticipated.
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  • Cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    Strangers with the Same Dream is about a young group of Jewish settlers making a new life for themselves it what will one day become Israel. It covers events from the different viewpoints of some of the characters. The dynamics of the group and the hardships they face make for an interesting story. The interaction with the Arabs that the settlers will displace is also covered from the differing viewpoints of the main characters, which gives a more thorough understanding of the motivations that d Strangers with the Same Dream is about a young group of Jewish settlers making a new life for themselves it what will one day become Israel. It covers events from the different viewpoints of some of the characters. The dynamics of the group and the hardships they face make for an interesting story. The interaction with the Arabs that the settlers will displace is also covered from the differing viewpoints of the main characters, which gives a more thorough understanding of the motivations that drive the characters down the paths that they choose.
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  • Chris devine
    January 1, 1970
    This was a really well written book about the early jewish settlers in what would become Israel, and to be honest it seems like they were kind of dicks to the muslim people who already were living there. I know this is fiction, but still. The book is broken up into 3 parts, each focusing on a different character, and how they perceive the same events. Pretty much everyone is messed up in their own way, and no one is really likeable except for the little girl Ruth. It held my interest though.I wo This was a really well written book about the early jewish settlers in what would become Israel, and to be honest it seems like they were kind of dicks to the muslim people who already were living there. I know this is fiction, but still. The book is broken up into 3 parts, each focusing on a different character, and how they perceive the same events. Pretty much everyone is messed up in their own way, and no one is really likeable except for the little girl Ruth. It held my interest though.I won this from a goodreads giveaway.
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  • Andrea MacPherson
    January 1, 1970
    Really enjoyed this novel about a group of young Jewish pioneers forming a kibbutz on what would become Israel. The novel focuses on three main characters--Ida, David, and Hannah--and is narrated by an omniscent ghost. Their stories are messy, tangled, with the smallest action having huge ramifications in surprising ways. There is tragedy, and love, and pain. I'm not convinced we needed the ghost narrator, and the ending was a bit quick, but a compelling read nonetheless.
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  • Rose
    January 1, 1970
    I won Strangers with the Same Dream through the Goodreads giveaways. This book was captivating from start to finish. It was about a group of young Jews carving out a new life for themselves. The story was broken up into three sections with its own main character; however it did keep the readers interest because it was the same events retold from a different perspective. Plus this book has an amazing cover. I am looking forward to reading more books by Alison Pick in the future.
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  • Harold
    January 1, 1970
    A GoodReads GiveAwayI find that narrating the basic story from three different points of view slows down the story.Just saying.
  • Nora
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come.
  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    I am excited and honoured to be a Goodreads winner.
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