By Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
Read May 2019
This is another book whose essay got left behind in a flurry of reading. However, it is certainly a book to consider reading for its engaging story, its interesting, flawed, and human characters, and for the glimpse it provides of illegal immigrants trying to find a place for themselves away from the hostilities they fled.
The protagonist is a neurosurgeon who, because of a fight with his superior, finds himself working in a desert town rather than Tel Aviv. One night on his commute home after a long shift, he strikes a man, an Eritrean immigrant, in the road. He gets of the car long enough to realize the man is likely dead and leaves him where he found him. The next day, the man’s widow comes to his door with his wallet which he dropped at the scene of the crime. They enter a black-mail relationship whereby the doctor treats other immigrants, most of whom are in Israel illegally. The doctor spends his nights and weekends treating these patients while his wife, a member of the local police department, is investigating the hit-and-run accident.
The book has a thriller feel at times but mainly considers the evolving relationship of the doctor and the widow, the doctor’s relationship with himself and his crime, and the growing gap between him and his wife. It is a very worthy read.