Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Three Floors Up: A Novel by Eshkol Nevo

(Thank you to Other Press for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

Finalist for the Fiction and Book Club categories of the 2017 National Jewish Book Awards

Set in a Tel Aviv apartment building, this best-selling Israeli novel examines a society in crisis, through the turmoils, secrets, unreliable confessions, and problematic decisions of the building’s residents.

On the first floor, Arnon, a tormented retired officer who fought in the First Intifada, confesses to an army friend how his obsession with his daughter’s safety led him to lose control and put his marriage in peril. Above Arnon lives Hani, known as “the widow.” Her husband travels the world for work 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. Retired and eager to start a new life, Devora joins a social movement, tries to reconnect with her estranged son, and falls in love with a man who isn’t what he seems.

A brilliant novelist, Eshkol Nevo vividly depicts the grinding effects of social and political ills played out in the psyche of these flawed, compelling characters, often in unexpected and explosive ways.

my thoughts:

Wow! What a book! This tender, moving story provides such fascinating observations about flawed, sympathetic characters that will haunt you for days.  I absolutely LOVED Three Floors Up by Eshkol Nevo - it is truly a must-read.

This is a story that epitomizes the notion that you never really know someone, you just don't.  In this case, three stories are told by neighbors who live in an apartment building in Tel Aviv.  They each reside on separate floors and will appear in each other's stories in the background, but their connection is merely proximity.  Each floor is meant to represent Freud's theory of the id, ego, and superego -  as each character shares a deeply personal story, their struggles with the boundaries of guilt and morality becomes quite evident.  You can't help but engage with these characters and find yourself immersed in their confessions - its simply unputdownable.

I don't want to write about the stories, because they are just so emotional and riveting.  They must be read for you to experience their depth and strength - character studies of people and their flaws.  Plus, you will just love the descriptions and details about life in Tel Aviv - the culture, customs, politics, etc..  Three Floors Up is just such a terrific book - I loved it! 

I would definitely recommend Three Floors Up to anyone and everyone looking for their next great read - you will LOVE this book!!

Thank you to Other Press for providing me with a copy of this book!


Ti said...

I enjoy books that stay with you long after you've finished them.

Lark said...

I've been trying to read more books lately that sort of expand my horizons and that take me to new places and give me insights into other cultures. This book sounds like it does all of those things awesomely well. Let's hope my library has this one. Great review, Nadia! :)

Nadia said...

Ti, me too. Those are the best kind :)

Lark, yes, me too! That's why I love reading books published by Other Press - they always such great reading experiences and I learn so much from them :) Definitely check it out and let me know what you think. Thanks, Lark!!