Bethany Ball – What to do about the Solomons

bethany-nball-waht-to-do-about-the-solomons.png
Bethany Ball – What to do about the Solomons

Yakov Solomon and his wife Vivienne could despair of their children. Their son Marc has left Israel and is a successful manager in L.A. now, but has to face some accusation of laundering. Their daughter Keren lives in a kibbutz where her husband Guy Gever slowly seems to lose his brains. Liv, another son, has long fled to Singapore to live with another man. Shira, a former TV star and actress, has divorced and raises her son alone but at the moment she has run out of money and hopes for support of her brother Marc. All members of the family eye each other from near and far, always suspicious of each other, yet, if necessary, they are one family. But now, Yakov is dead and his fortune needs to be split.

There were moments while I was reading I thought: “What a luck these characters are only real in the novel and do not actually exist”. Take Shira. She wants to revive her career and flies to the USA. This isn’t something to blame a person for. But: she leaves her 11-year-old son alone at home. He not only has nobody to take care of him, but he does not have anything to eat either. Or Marc and his wife Carolyn. Her first reaction to the police searching their home is to roll a joint and to sink down into oblivion. Guy Gever who suddenly finds his creative vein after many years in the kibbutz – they are all quite strange and singular characters.

Reading this very meticulous drawing of characters was something I really liked about the novel. None of them is flat or stereotypical. Added to this comes a very poignant language which makes you laugh at times and stop breathing at others. There is some typical Jewish absurdity in the characters and in the novel which make it a great entertainment. We do not have the world on black and white, neither are the characters just heroes or losers.

Advertisements