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  Library Journal Review

Auschwitz, 1943. Four women-Leah, Esther, Maria, and Ariana-make a covenant, vowing to protect and help one another for life, if only God will allow them to survive. Fast-forward to 2002, and Leah's granddaughter Elise is living in Israel with her husband, Jonathan, and daughter Ilana. What starts out as an ordinary day for Jonathan, a cancer specialist, becomes a nightmare as he and his young daughter are taken hostage by Arab militants, who threaten to kill them unless their demands are met. Desperate, Elise calls her grandmother for help, and the covenant is renewed. What follows are five days of suspense, terror, and hope as the four women reunite to help a loved one. Ragen, a well-known author of Jewish fiction (e.g., The Sacrifice of Tamar), has written a fast-paced thriller that eerily echoes reality. She deftly puts a face on terrorism, which will leave an impression on every reader. Recommended for all public libraries, especially those with a large Jewish population.-Marika Zemke, West Bloomfield Twp. P.L., MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

When Elise and Jon moved into their home in Maaleh Sara, Judea, they didn't realize that they would soon be considered illegal occupiers and that terrorists might be laying in wait. Indeed, one day the unthinkable happens: Jon and the couple's young daughter, Ilana, are taken hostage at gunpoint and ransomed for an impossible political price. When Elise calls her grandmother Leah in America, she sets in motion a series of sprawling events that spring, at least in part, from an oath made at Auschwitz. Blending past and present, Ragen outlines some of the hugely complicated issues that exist in the Middle East today, and though her political sympathies seem clear early on, as events play out and more characters (perhaps too many) enter the mix, there are some welcome surprises. Innocents become political pawns, and politics becomes personal in this raw, poignant novel wrapped around a decades-old conflict. --Stephanie Zvirin Copyright 2004 Booklist
Summary
<p>Living in terror-torn Jerusalem, Elise Margulies constantly fears for the safety of her loved ones. Confined to bedrest during a difficult pregnancy, she happily awaits the return of her husband and little girl from a ballet recital, only to find that her worst fears have finally been realized. All seems lost until a phone call to her grandmother in America unexpectedly revives a decades-old oath, creating a force that transends time and place, to rescue her loved ones. Over the course of five terror- and hope-filled days, the ties that bind two generations forge a potent alliance against contemporary evil.</p>
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