Thursday, March 22, 2012

Davita's Harp

Davita's Harp

Potok is one of my very favorite authors.I'm not sure how I made it to my 40's without discovering him but I found The Chosen at a thrift shop a few years ago. It is one of those "must read" books. Since then, I've read several of his others. Potok's brilliance is showcased in his writing on the World Wars and the Jewish pov.
Davita's Harp is one of his best. He interweaves politics and religion, and how they are treated the same in a modern/post-modern world, and just what that means when things get rough. Communism, fascism, Judaism, Christianity and atheism are all touched on here; as both political, and faith constructs.

Illana is the protagonist, left to the mercy of her parent's Communist radicalism, following their own brushes with brutality at the hands of Capitalism and Christianity. This story is about her search for truth and redemption in a world that seems to have gone  mad. Her parents will and do anything for their political cause, believing that they are ushering a new world utopia, until it finally results in the death of her father, at which time Illana suffers a nervous breakdown. She is nursed back to health by her Christian aunt and finds her place in the world through her Jewish roots.  The ending is sweet, despite a major disappointment in Illana's life, showcasing the theme of the book, which is that one moment/one situation can determine the course of your life.

This book discusses Franco's war with Spain, the alliance Stalin and Hitler make and how faith, or the lack thereof can either led one to complete and utter despair, or bring one back from the brink of it.


Unknown said...

I love Potok. His books tend to be pretty weighty so I need to make sure I have time in my life to digest his stories. He is an awesome communicator and story-teller.

Jannell said...

Catching up on the blog. We had a very good high school English teacher (one of my two favorite) who had us read at least two Potok books, that I remember. I still revisit them occasionally.