Chaim Eliav is a familiar and welcome name to Shaar Press readers. His In the Spider’s Web took us through a neo-Nazi intrigue in South America; The Runaway led us through a nefarious maze in Israel; The Persecution brought us back to Inquisition-era Portugal; The Mission had us fleeing the K.G.B. in Soviet Russia. In his every foray into intrigue, Eliav had us on the edge of our seats, turning pages, afraid to miss a single twist and turn of the plot.
In The Envelope, he does it again, but this time with a new and more chilling twist. Avraham Rosenbaum is an only child of elderly parents, Holocaust survivors with a secret that embitters them and mystifies him. What is it? His father dies and Avraham finds an envelope that will change his life.
He is not an only child! He has a sister he has never seen, a woman who has been banished from his parents lives but never from their broken hearts.
Her name is Rivkah. No, it used to be Rivkah but now it is Samira, because as a young woman, Rivkah fell in love with an Arab. She and her parents disowned each other. She left their lives, but never their thoughts.
Now Avraham has the envelope and he is obsessed, first with finding out what its message means and then with finding his long lost sister, and finally with bringing her back to her family and people.
This book is the story of his dangerous, suspense-filled search, but it is not merely another exciting adventure story in the brilliant Eliav mold. In this book, Eliav reveals a new facet of his skill. He probes deep into the psyches of his characters and makes us understand the complexities of their choices and the pain of their decisions.
When we turn the final page, we shake our heads in wonder and understanding. Read this book for enjoyment and adventure and also for insight into human nature. But please don’t reveal the surprising ending!
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