It was during the euphoric aftermath of Israels victorious Six Day War in 1967, that Yoram (Richie) Friedman uprooted his wife and ten-year-old son from the good life; in the States, to settle on a picturesque border kibbutz in Northern Israel. In October 1973, the reality of their seemingly idyllic new home comes into sharp relief as Syrian war planes fly menacingly overhead, signaling the beginning of Israel's next (and most costly) war with its Arab neighbors the Yom Kippur War. The trauma of that horrific conflict somehow strengthens Yorams Zionist ideals of helping to rebuild the Jewish homeland, but his wife and son reject his lofty principles and decide to return to the States, resulting in a wrenching silence from both sides of the ocean lasting almost a quarter century. Then one day, Yoram receives an unexpected letter from his twelve-year-old grandson a new Boy Scout and budding adventurer. Their ensuing pen-pal relationship brings about a special bond between grandpa and grandson, as adventures of the past intermingle with present day events in a compelling and healing love story spanning the generations.
I would recommend this book whole heartedly
GRANDPA’S MOUNTAIN is a lovely narrative which spans many years, consisting of a series of letters exchanged
Steve finds his grandfather’s address on an old envelope which Yoram wrote earlier to Steve’s father, Michael. Yoram is never spoken of and we learn that he is estranged from his former wife and son (Michael). While Steve loves his parents and seems to be a very obedient son, there is a missing connection - an emotional abyss - which Steve can’t quite articulate but hopes by writing to his grandfather (whom he has never met) to find a sympathetic ear. He writes of his love of the outdoors, camping, hiking, a closeness to nature. He is an eager boy scout and writes to his grandfather of upcoming camping and hiking expeditions. The grandfather was an eager, young boy scout, also, and their pen pal relationship becomes a very close, personal one.
Yoram attempts to explain his family’s estrangement and the events and feelings that led him to emigrate to Israel and becoming part of a Jewish renaissance.
The letters are very touching, very personal, and by the end of the book, we feel that we know these two very special people personally.
If this is not an ‘official’ autobiography by Mr. Larkey, the narrative certainly mirrors his own life. His biography information tells us that he was born in Newark, New Jersey. He did serve in the U.S. Army and was sent to occupied Germany as part of the NATO forces. His experience there made a profound impression on Mr. Larkey and intensified his Jewish identity. He made his aliyah (or move to Israel) in 1971. He was an architect and spent time at the Kibbutz Misgav-Am. Mr. Larkey is the author of several other books.
As a side note, I feel that I became better acquainted with Israel, the kibbutz system and the Jewish religion. I didn’t realize it was happening - Mr. Larkey’s writing is very quiet, subtle and deliberate.
I am very glad to have read this book. I cried at the end and the ending is still with me - I care about these ‘people’. I would heartily recommend this title.
This book is beautifully written and it is emotionally stirring. It is filled with credible characters that readers can care about. I highly recommend reading this book.
I received this book through LibraryThing and I give this review of my own free will.