Final Call For Happiness
By: Tamara AvnerFour voices of one family telling the pain that disengagement -personal or national- entails; the agony when something whole is unraveled.
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Book DescriptionWhat would you do if you were faced with a task that went completely against the values on which you were raised? What would you do if refusal to carry it out would doom your professional career, but doing it might distance your wife, and could even tear your family away from you?
And what would you do if your husband was drawn into a swirling action that went completely against your humanitarian spirit? If his activities and life style differed so markedly from the values you wish to endow to your children?
"You don't break up a home. It's that simple: a home is not something you take apart, period. Once you get married, you're married for life. From then on, you just keep climbing the ladder until you reach the top. There's no opportunity to stand still and look down, nor to look around to see whether or not it suits you. End of story."
It is with these words - spoken so authoritatively by Colonel Udi Am-Shalom - that the novel Final Call for Happiness begins. He makes this statement, however, before his sensitive wife Yael meets an experienced older man, a master artist of love and courtship, and before he himself has to evacuate a family from a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip in the line of duty, on government orders. Only after these two life-changing events does Udi grasp how lonely and isolated he really is, and how deeply he yearns for the most basic bond "" the one between a husband and a wife.
This contemporary novel follows the unfolding events leading to the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, and their impact on the life of one typical Israeli family. Although this withdrawal is geographically far from them, it penetrates the deepest cracks in the walls of their home. Constantly flowing from the personal into the national it depicts the acute pain that disengagements entail, and the agony that ensues when something whole is unraveled. The national turmoil serves as a backdrop to the gradual crumbling of the Am-Shalom family, and to the reconstruction efforts aimed at bringing new hope and meanings.
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