Fic­tion

The Dia­mond Set­ter: A Novel

Moshe Sakal; Jes­si­ca Cohen, trans.

  • From the Publisher
May 4, 2018

In this semi-auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal nov­el, Sakal employs a nest­ed folk­tale device and draws on true events to tell the tale of the unevent­ful life of a jew­el­er from Tel Aviv that changes abrupt­ly after Fareed, a hand­some young man from Dam­as­cus, cross­es ille­gal­ly into Israel, mak­ing his way to the ancient port city of Jaf­fa in search of his roots. We learn the sto­ry of his fam­i­ly’s past – a tale of for­bid­den love begin­ning in the 1930s – and its entan­gle­ment with the Israelis he con­nects with on his journey.

Car­ry­ing a leg­endary blue dia­mond named Sabakh,” Fareed immi­grates to Israel from Syr­ia in search of Sabakh’s orig­i­nal own­er. As the dia­mond’s sto­ry becomes entan­gled with the nar­ra­tion, their fam­i­ly his­to­ry is explored and a love tri­an­gle from the 1930s is exposed between a Jew­ish cou­ple and a beau­ti­ful Mus­lim woman. The dia­mond’s reap­pear­ance in Israel ignites a sec­ond romance sev­en­ty years lat­er between Fareed, nar­ra­tor Tom, and Honi, an Israeli soldier.

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