Book Review: Rebirth

Rebirth by Dave Longeuay is a fictional story set in 1948 when Israel was struggling to become their own country. Charles Devonshire, fugitive son of Nazi sympathizers, flees the United States and joins the tidal wave of Jewish immigrants returning to reclaim Palestine per Biblical prophecy.

Charles intends to go to the local university and become an engineering student. His intentions are to discover his parent’s true roots. His parents abuse have left him scarred, filled with many questions. He loves the Jewish people and on his journey to Palestine a Jewish family takes him under their wing. One of the sons of this Jewish family, Samuel is with a sect of the Jewish underground that is violent. Charles is swept unwillingly into the clash; first, when his concern of Samuel causes him to follow him across shady areas of Palestine to a warehouse; then, when Charles falls in love with the sister of Dov, one of the leaders of the most violent undeground movement, the Irgun. The Jewish family that offered their home to Charles bans him from the house after one of their own becomes caught in the crossfire and they discover that Charles is also Irgun. Author, Dave Longeuay adeptly tells a complex war and love story that makes this novel a page-turner.

There are several plot points. Charles is in love with Gladia and at times it is what prompts him to work the intelligence aspect of the underground movement. Eventually, all the underground Jewish sects merge together to fight in unity. Charles is under age, and I love how Longeuay shows Charles’ growth both physically and mentally throughout the book. Gladia is a simple girl and at times her impulsiveness gets her in trouble. The on again, off again of their relationship makes this love story unusual. Another plot point is Charles’ father.

We discover that Charles stole some of his grandfather’s money and we know he is a fugitive in the United States. However, we don’t really take Charles’ fear of his father seriously until in one scene it is his father who comes to the other side of the world and brutally murders everyone in a synagogue. Layering the tension in the plots, is the backdrop of Israel struggling to claim its right to be a country.

I’m not a history scholar, but it surprised me that the British were featured in this novel as at times just as bad as the Nazi’s. As Jewish immigrants came over from the United States, they were treated as terrorists, and yet to be fair, the British didn’t know which Jew was peaceful or which would bomb them. Longeuay makes the struggles between the British, Jewish, and Arab races real as he shows what Palestine was like just before Israel became their own nation. I couldn’t remember when the League of Nations became the United Nations, but in this novel Longeuay calls them the United Nations who take the vote that made history.

Violence, love, friendship, and war describe this novel. While my copy showed a couple of grammar and/or spelling errors, Longeuay assures me the new copies are clean. Because of the story and character’s complexity, I give this novel five stars. The story kept me eagerly returning and unwilling to set it down until I had finished it. It is worthy of re-reading.

Novel given by author to review. You can visit the author’s web page for information about his passion for Israeli biblical history and prophecy at www.rebirthofisrael.com.

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