Set in the late 1950’s in Israel, “Closer Together”, by Juliet C.B. Aharoni, takes us back to a time when post-war emotions are still raw, when a young couple caught in the middle of bitter resentment relocate to an air force base in the Israeli desert. There, Rosalind and Eyal must come to terms with a new life. Rosalind battles to overcome her insecurities and depression while faced with new challenges as she suddenly finds herself cast into the complexities and affairs of others around her. This is a coming-of-age novel about the bond of love and the necessity to either mature and face up to life, or crawl away to a dark place inside. A worthy read for lovers of romance and coming-of-age novels.
Review by International Writers Inspiring Change
About Juliet C.B. Aharoni
IWIC: Tell us about yourself.
Juliet: In many ways, my Together series is autobiographical. Not the actual events, of course, but I came to Israel in the 50s from South Africa when I was seventeen, much like my heroine did. I was a high school teacher and an artist for many years. My mother is German Catholic, which was not so easy in Israel at that time. All these factors have made their way into my writing and my stories. In many ways, Israel stole my heart, but it was a hard place to live in at the time; a place still struggling to find its way. Many people I met were European refugees; others had lived in Israel for centuries. Some were pragmatic; others were idealists. There were lively debates as to what the emerging identity of Israel should be; debates that, in many ways, continue to this day.
IWIC: What prompted you to become a writer? Juliet: I just wanted to share my story. Dramatized, of course; I am no Rosalind. But I did draw on my personal experiences to portray what it was like for an outsider to move to Israel at the time. For someone whose mother was German and Catholic, everyday contact with people who had witnessed the horrors of the Holocaust could be traumatic for both sides.
IWIC: What do readers like about your writing? Juliet: As I said, my experiences seep into my writing. I believe readers recognize the authenticity of my voice and are drawn to it. “Write what you know,” they say, and I have done just that.
IWIC: Is there a message weaved into your writing? Juliet: I didn’t write my books to make some point or other, but the story does mirror my personal journey in many ways. Still, I’d rather let my readers decide for themselves what message they would like to draw, to be honest.
IWIC: What is it that you want to inspire in others or change in the world through your writing? Juliet: I came to Israel and fell in love with both the place and my husband, but also experienced much prejudice. Having lived through that, I would love to see a more tolerant world. Then again, wouldn’t we all?
IWIC: Tell us about your most recent book and why you wrote it? Juliet: My second book in the Together series continues the story of Rosalind and Eyal. Their relationship has survived his family’s rejection, and they embark on their first journey as a couple. This one takes them into the desert, where Eyal’s first posting as a young officer is located. The air force base becomes their home and they start building their life together there.