Jesse Terrill has reason to be angry. His mother has abandoned him, his brother was murdered by a terrorist, and his father is in the state mental hospital?a victim of a mugger's assault. Arrested for vandalizing a synagogue, Jesse is sentenced to do community service for a Holocaust survivor, Mendel Ebban. Mr. Ebban, was a ?stoker? at Treblinka?he separated and prepared bodies for burning. Brilliant, sly and unpredictable, Mr. Ebban, in his turn, tries to deepen Jesse's spiritual awareness of life. At first Jesse fiercely resists Mr. Ebban's efforts. However, as he learns more about the old man's suffering, their relationship becomes deeper, richer, and more nuanced. Jesse's anger and cynicism are rooted in loss, but unlike Mr. Ebban, he lacks faith. Although Jesse is on probation and watched closely by the police, he is determined to find the man who hurt his father. In his quest he becomes caught in a spiritual battle between the old man's near mystical influence and his own obsessive desire for revenge. Strangers in the Land of Egypt has a rich and diverse cast of characters? detectives, bikers, ex-cons, a quirky lawyer, Jesse's uncle G.T., and G.T.'s Mexican girlfriend Rosalita. Jesse's friendship with LaFaye, a young Cajun woman, further complicates his life after he injures her abusive boyfriend in a fight, thereby incurring the wrath of the boyfriend's father, a dangerous former criminal. In order to meet this challenge, and his all-consuming quest to locate and kill the man who hurt his father, Jesse must choose between the world presented by Mr. Ebban's subtle teachings or that of his own impulses, in a riveting and moving parable for our time.
- Fiction + Literature Themes, Juvenile Fiction, Fiction + Literature Genres
- Historical / Holocaust, Settings, General, Conflicts + Dualities, Holocaust
- May 1, 2009
- May 1, 2009
- Stephen March