Booklist reviews Rutu Modan

Booklist Review - Exit Wounds

Booklist    |    Booklist Staff    |    February 2, 2014

Tel Aviv cab driver Koby has been alienated from Gabriel, his father, for years when he is pulled into a search for Gabriel’s body in the wake of a bus station bombing. Koby is irritated with having to consider Gabriel again and with the strange young woman, Numi, apparently Gabriel’s paramour, who insists on Koby’s help. Time and Numi’s unabating energy for tracking induce Koby to reflect on all he doesn’t know about his father’s life, let alone his possible death. The relationship between Koby and Numi builds, as it must given their proximity and the emotional tension each brings to the search. But there are tensions other than father-son, man-woman, and romantic-pragmatic at work. Numi and Koby are of different classes, civic life in Israel is conducted with an unblinking eye for possible terrorism, and Gabriel kept many secrets that become only partially revealed. An excellent storyteller, Modan balances plot and characterization well. Meanwhile, her art is intricate enough to fully evoke physical setting and cultural context. ––Francisca Goldsmith

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