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Martyrs' Crossing

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By Amy Wilentz, the acclaimed author of the prize-winning "The Rainy Season, Martyrs' Crossing" tells a stunning story of love, fear, divided loyalties, ruined friendships, and personal sacrifice -- against a backdrop of raging war in the Holy Land. One rainy night at a Jerusalem checkpoint, Israeli Lieutenant Ari Doron is ordered to refuse passage to a young Palestinian mother and her sick boy. The incident leads to a series of riots, and Doron finds himself pulled into the bitter political aftermath as battles and bus bombs explode around him. He is drawn to Marina, the boy's American-born mother. And though she is on the other side of the bloody struggle, she finds herself thinking of Doron as "her soldier." In another place, at another time, they might have been lovers, but here their story moves toward a tragic conclusion with the kind of inevitability that war imposes. Marina's father, an eminent Boston heart specialist and an outspoken Palestinian intellectual, is also sucked into the conflict he thought he had left behind long ago. Now, back in the streets of his youth, he must choose whether to support his old comrades as they manipulate his grandson's story in an ugly propaganda campaign, or break with them and wreck his last remaining childhood friendship. Caught in history's terrible catastrophe, all three become pawns for larger, inescapable forces. "Martyrs' Crossing" is a poignant story of the ambiguities of war -- of inarticulate longing and broken vows -- set in the turbulence of Israel and the West Bank.

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