Alison Pick was the 2002 Bronwen Wallace Award winner for the most promising young writer in Canada. She has published three acclaimed volumes of poetry and three highly acclaimed novels, including the bestselling Far to Go, which was nominated for the Man Booker Prize, and won the Canadian Jewish Award for Fiction. Her memoir, Between Gods, was published internationally, was a finalist for the BC National Award for Non-Fiction, and was a Globe and Mail “Best Book” of 2014.
Strangers With the Same Dream
In 1921, a band of young Jewish pioneers, many escaping violence in their homelands, set out to realize a utopian dream: the founding of a kibbutz on a patch of land that will, 25 years later, become Israel. Writing with a tightly controlled intensity, Alison Pick takes us inside the minds of her vastly different characters — two young unmarried women, one plain and one beautiful, escaping peril in Russia and Europe; and one older man, a group leader, who is married with two children — to show us how idealism quickly tumbles into pragmatism, and how the utopian dream is punctured by messy human entanglements. This is also the story of the land itself (present-day Israel and Palestine), revealing with compassion and terrible irony how the pioneers chose to ignore the subtle but undeniable fact that their valley was already populated, home to a people whose lives they did not entirely understand. The novel’s utterly shocking but satisfying conclusion will have readers flipping back to the first page to trace patterns and wrestle with the question of what is, or is not, inevitable and knowable in the human heart.