Story Plant paperback
Fiction Studio Books e-book
Publication date: September 23, 2014
FINALIST, International Book Awards
It’s summer, 1963. Fourteen-year-old Liana travels to Jerusalem, accompanied by her older sister and larger-than-life mother. The trip takes her from a sheltered life in Westchester County, NY to the hot, bustling, and thoroughly confusing landscape of the Middle East, where Jewish and Arab cultures exist side by side in an uneasy truce. She soon drifts away from her colorful family and their over-the-top relatives, and starts a furtive, increasingly passionate, secret relationship with the runaway son of an American diplomat. Together, they abscond to neighboring Palestine, where they hide in an abandoned monastery, while a frantic search for the two missing youngsters gets under way on the other side of an increasingly hostile border.
Both a deeply sensual story and a vivid depiction of a world growing increasingly fractured, Edges is a masterfully written triumph of nuanced storytelling.
“Edges is an elegantly written, quite moving novel that has a lot to say about love, identity, history and the meaning of nationality. The book is worth reading alone for its superb language, but it is gripping and unforgettable as well in its story telling and evocation of place and emotions. It is a wonderful novel by an author with a quite accomplished voice and style, one well deserving a wide and receptive audience.”
– Oscar Hijuelos, author of the Pulitzer-prize winning novel, The Mambo King Sings Songs Of Love
“The author’s vivid sense of landscape, her gift for identifying with both mother and daughter, Arab and Jew, gives the novel a unique sense of balance and brings the reader, regardless of political conviction into sympathy with this portrait of a vanished Jerusalem.”
– Mark Mirsky, Fiction
“Edges is an elegant and moving novel. Leora Skolkin-Smith has that rare gift of the writer who can convey the sensibility – the essence of a place and its people – with precision and clarity. A provocative debut.”
– Katharine Weber, author of Triangle, The Little Women, and The Music Lesson
“Skolkin’s brilliant debut novel is a hypnotic meditation on the ever-changing boundaries of love and need. A coming-of-age story of the bond between a young American and her powerful mother, etched in a wartime Mideast as shifting and dangerous and mysterious as the Israeli desert.”
– Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and Is It Tomorrow
“The author’s language, both beautiful and evocative, elevates and gives it a voice that is ageless.”
– Story Circle Book Reviews
“Edges is a dark and penetrating look at pre-1967 Israel and Palestine through the eyes of a 14 year old…well-written, powerful in both imagery and subject matter.”
– Jewish Book World
“Edges is a novel told with restraint and poetic precision…memorable (for the) sense of place that Ms. Skolkin-Smith has achieved – the sunny and scary Jerusalem and countryside – and the hope, love, hate and fatalism of the groups, Palestinian and Israeli, living amongst and apart from each other…”
– Robert Whitcomb, The Providence Journal
"Skolkin-Smith’s alchemy is to inhabit her characters even as she crafts a riveting story that is nothing short of brilliant," said Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You. Reviewers and readers agree that Skolkin-Smith's work is a remarkable blend of literary mastery and profound observation. It is a combination that must be experienced to be fully appreciated.