David Grossman’s 2022 International Booker Longlisted MORE THAN I LOVE MY LIFE, translated from the Hebrew by Jessica Cohen is a story of three generations of women in Israel reconnecting and retracing their personal pasts on a journey together to the island of Goli Otok.
Mainly written from the point of view of Gili (the recent from the three generations of women), though the book takes interesting shifts in perspectives, timelines and memories of all the different sets of characters.
There’s quite a dense use of technique of filming by its characters, whether it’s people or surroundings around them to retrace their complex past memories. It did work for me in the end but sometimes I was actually quite frustrated by this use of narrative in a very strong story actually.
But this is a very complex and politically strong story of ordinary people having to face trials and tribulations for doing nothing wrong, and their will to live their life despite being haunted by the trauma of these injustices, which prevail on themselves and is passed down to the next generations, which determines their choices in the future.
The book brilliantly captures this dilemma of these three generations of women, realising the truth of each other’s complicated personal pasts which was never clear to them.
MORE THAN I LOVE MY LIFE by David Grossman, translated from Hebrew by Jessica Cohen. Published by Jonathan Cape. A huge thanks to Meenakshi Kainth at Penguin India for review copy of this title.