There is no shortage of books examining the Palestinian "situation"; I have my own collection amounting to several hundred volumes, accumulated over 30 or 40 years.
Some are lively and interesting, a few I have found dry and rather dull. However, every book in the collection has one thing in common--it assumes the reader already has an interest in the history and/or the on-going situation of the Palestinian people. They are, in short, preaching to the converted.
Readers of The Middle East magazine know only too well how the Palestinians have suffered under Israeli occupation for what is fast approaching 70 years.
We are aware of how successive Israeli governments and specific individuals have facilitated the demolition of Palestinian homes; the illegal acquisition of Palestinian lands; the murder of Palestinian children and how the list of abuses and indignities continues to grow.
However, the sad fact is that despite the passion many of us feel towards the utter wrongness of the situation we have--for the most part--failed to make their issue the international cause celebre it deserves to be.
And then, once in a blue moon, a film or a book comes along that shines a spotlight on exactly what is going on in Gaza and the West Bank, illuminating for a brief time the reality of lives lived under the brutality of the Israeli jackboot, behind high concrete walls and barbed wire, where the casual traveller cannot easily gain access.
Carol Drinkwater has produced such a gem with The Lost Girl and now, through the power of popular story telling, thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands, will be made aware of a political situation they had previously known little, or nothing, after the reading this novel.
The Lost Girl tells a complex story of love and loss, of sadness and great...