Three Floors Up

by Eshkol Nevo

Other authorsSondra Silverston (Translator.)
Book, 2017



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New York, NY Other Press, 2017


Set in an upper-middle-class Tel Aviv apartment building, this bestselling and warmly acclaimed Israeli novel examines the interconnected lives of its residents, whose turmoils, secrets, unreliable confessions, and problematic decisions reveal a society in the midst of an identity crisis. On the first floor, Arnon, a tormented retired officer who fought in the First Intifada, confesses to an army friend with a troubled military past how his obsession about his young daughter's safety led him to lose control and put his marriage in peril. Above Arnon lives Hani, known as "the widow," whose husband travels the world for his lucrative job while she stays at home with their two children, increasingly isolated and unstable. When her brother-in-law suddenly appears at their door begging her to hide him from loan sharks and the police, she agrees in spite of the risk to her family, if only to bring some emotional excitement into her life. On the top floor lives a former judge, Devora. Eager to start a new life in her retirement, Devora joins a social movement, desperately tries to reconnect with her estranged son, and falls in love with a man who isn't what he seems.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member hemlokgang
Brilliant! Great plot, great ideas, wonderful writing, and brilliant structure. Three stories in a building, three people needing desperately to talk to someone who knows them intimately, and three parts of the psyche according to our old friend, Sigmund Freud. Set in Israel, this novel contains
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three riveting sets of human circumstance. Ultimately, it is revealed that "the three floors of the psyche do not exist inside us at all!Absolutely not! They exist in the air between us and someone else, in the space between our mouths and the ears we are telling our story to. "
What matters is that we talk to someone! Thirty years as a counselor, honored to be the ears hearing many, many human stories confirms this belief. There is something very powerful in the experience of being heard! I know it as I know my name. This book illuminates the reality of the deeply felt desire to be heard! Great read!
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