To the End of the Land
is timely not only in light of Israel's ongoing conflicts; unfortunately, it will be timely as long as mothers send their sons off to war. The story focuses on Ora, a middle-aged Israeli, who reacts to her son's voluntary re-enlistment by taking an extended backpack trip to avoid news of the war. As Ora hikes the countryside she ruminates on her life and her relationships with her two sons and her former husband. Along with her, initially against his will, is Avram, a physically and emotionally scarred man who has impacted almost every aspect of Ora's life and family.
David Grossman's writing is rich and detailed, nearly every sentence so vivid that one feels exactly what his characters are experiencing. "She shut the door and followed him into a smell that was an entity unto itself, as if she were entering the folds of a thick...
Beyond the Book
In To the End of the Land,
the central characters backpack along the northern stretch of the Israel National Trail, which is also known as "The Galilee."
The Israel National Trail (INT) is a 597 mile long (955 km) hiking trail that crosses the entire country of Israel, north to south, running from the city of Dan on the Lebanese border to Eilat on the Red Sea (map). The trail offers remarkable variety, winding through deserts, forests and mountains, as well as providing access to historical and archaeological sites.
The INT was the brainchild of Avraham Tamir, a writer and journalist for an Israeli children's magazine. In 1980 he hiked the Appalachian Trail in the United States, and returned home with the idea that a similar long-distance...