Josephina, a journalist living in Manhattan, flies to Jerusalem to meet David, her occasional lover, for whom she works sometimes as a freelance reporter. On this trip, she decides to look up Gloria, a woman she first met on a trip to the Holy Land when they were both fresh out of college. Unlike Josephina, Gloria has decided to live in Israel, stay married to one man, raise her children, and teach school. For Josephina, Gloria’s life represents the road not taken, a stark contrast to her sophisticated milieu of Manhattan and her urbane life spent visiting places of interest all over the world. As part of her assignment for David, Josephina interviews United Nations forces in Eilat along the Lebanese border. She has an absurd meeting with the head of the Chemical Concern, one of the major polluters of the Eastern Mediterranean, and then flies off to cover the wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles in London. But is she truly happy? Mandrake Root is a love story juxtaposed against the turbulent times in the Middle East and the challenges of the eighties.
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