“There are so many truths. Which one do you want?”
Rachel, a pre-med student from a Jewish family, doesn’t think much about Israel until she meets Michael, a Palestinian doctor in New York on a fellowship, and the leader of a group supporting the uprising.
She is attracted to his strength and passion for helping his people. He sees her as a recruit to his cause. Drawn together by their differences, their unlikely romance will force them to confront pre-existing loyalties, and to uncover truths buried under a lifetime of lies.
Children of Lies is the story of two people in love, trapped in a political maelstrom, and a suspenseful and thought-provoking thriller set in NYC and Israel.
From Publishers Weekly Reviewer:
Lerner delivers a fast-paced and well-researched love story set against the turmoil of the Israel/Palestine conflict……with effective analogies, insightful observations into human emotion and behavior…and the hypnotic power of charismatic personalities……Her prose offers nimble transitions between the love story and more sociological content, balancing the two elements with poise.
… A love story against an environment of political and social upheaval has been staged before, yet Lerner details the circumstances of this particular conflict and these lovers from different ideological backgrounds, with power and grace…and succeeds in creating multifaceted protagonists, effectively establishing them as both figures who love freely, regardless of their circumstances, and as individuals who are caught on opposite sides of a seemingly unbridgeable conflict. (BookLife Prize)
From Kirkus Reviews:
“…Lerner’s novel explores the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a young Jewish woman’s romance with a Palestinian doctor…She ably handles the delicate politics of the conflict, using different characters to express different views… Rachel’s own education will benefit readers who are less aware of the complicated history… A thoughtful mix of romance and politics…”
Book Club Discussion Questions:
- As a child, Michael was torn between his father and Akil. Why do you think he committed himself to Akil?
- What influences and events led Michael to moderate his views from those held by Akil?
- Did the fact that Rachel was Jewish allow Michael to get closer to her? Have you ever felt it easier to get close to someone you felt, for whatever reason, was not someone “appropriate” for you?
- What influences and events in Rachel’s life led her into a relationship to Michael?
- Do you think Rachel was naïve, or did she see a truth about Michael that even he didn’t see?
- Why was Akil so determined to derail the peace talks? Did you sympathize with his views?
- Why did Rivka keep the secret about Rachel’s dad? Was she wrong to do so? What would you have done in her situation?
- In what ways is the novel simply about a girl grieving for her father?
- What do you think will happen to Rachel after the conclusion of the novel?
- Did you have a pre-existing bias towards the Israeli/Palestinian conflict before reading the novel? Did the book alter your view or make you rethink it?