The Woman Beyond The Sea by Sarit Yishai-Levy #BlogTour #BookReview @FMcMAssociates #TranslatedFiction

Today I am bringing you a beautiful story written by Sarit Yishay-Levy, and translated by Gilah Kahn-Hoffman.

The Blurb

A mesmerizing novel about three generations of women who have lost each
other—and the quest to weave them back into a family.
An immersive historical tale spanning the life stories of three women,
The Woman Beyond the Sea traces the paths of a daughter, mother, and
grandmother who lead entirely separate lives, until finally their stories and their
hearts are joined together.
Eliya thinks that she’s finally found true love and passion with her charismatic
and demanding husband, an aspiring novelist—until he ends their relationship
in a Paris café, spurring her suicide attempt. Seeking to heal herself, Eliya is
compelled to piece together the jagged shards of her life and history.
Eliya’s heart-wrenching journey leads her to a profound and unexpected
love, renewed family ties, and a reconciliation with her orphaned mother,
Lily. Together, the two women embark on a quest to discover the truth about
themselves and Lily’s own origins…and the unknown woman who set their
stories in motion one Christmas Eve.

My Review

The Woman Beyond the Sea by Sarit Yishai-Levi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Firstly, I want to say that translated fiction can be quite hard to read. Sometimes things literally get ‘lost in translation’. Phrases used commonly in the original language can sound strange when written to suit a different tongue.
However, despite taking a little time to get into it, The Woman Beyond The Sea was a beautiful story about a daughter, her mother, and their relationships.
Eliya finds herself in emotional turmoil after her marriage breaks, especially since she was warned against the union by her family.
She goes through several unstable phases, including suicidal thoughts, which are not helped by her mother, Lily, who can’t seem to find love or compassion for her only daughter,
Lily, herself, is a damaged creature with no stable foundations and far too much heartache, despite having the love of a good man forever behind her and beside her.
Ultimately this is a story of discovering one’s self, and in The Woman Beyond The Sea, Lily and Eliya go on a bumpy ride to find out why they feel the way they do about one another and those around them.
Sometimes there was repetition and more than one POV in a named POV chapter, but I was immersed in the story and spent an entire day in bed wanting to read more!

About the Author

Sarit Yishai-Levi is a renowned Israeli journalist and author. In 2016 she published her first book, The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem. It immediately became a bestseller and garnered critical acclaim. The book sold more than three hundred thousand copies in Israel, was translated into ten languages, and was adapted into a TV series that won the Israeli TV award for best drama series. It also won the Publishers Association’s Gold, Platinum, and Diamond prizes; the Steimatzky Prize for bestselling book of the year in Israel; and the WIZO France Prize for best book translated into French.
Yishai-Levi’s second book, The Woman Beyond the Sea, was published in 2019. It won the Publishers Association’s Gold and Platinum prizes and was adapted for television by Netflix. Yishai-Levi was born in Jerusalem to a Sephardic family that has lived in the city for eight generations. She’s been living with her family in Tel Aviv since 1970.

About the Translator

Gilah Kahn-Hoffmann moved from Montreal to Jerusalem after studying theatre, literature, and communications at McGill University. Starting out as a freelance journalist, translator, writer, and editor, she became a feature writer at The Jerusalem Post and, subsequently, editor of the paper’s youth magazines. Later, during a stint as a writer at Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma, she discovered how fulfilling it is to work for the benefit of others and moved to NGO work in East Jerusalem and the developing world. In recent years, she’s come full circle to her first loves and spends her best hours immersed in literary translation.

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