Martyrs' Crossing: A Novel

Front Cover
Simon & Schuster, 2001 - Fiction - 311 pages
3 Reviews
By Amy Wilentz, the acclaimed author of the prize-winning "The Rainy Season, Martyrs' Crossing" tells a stunning story of love, fear, divided loyalties, ruined friendships, and personal sacrifice -- against a backdrop of raging war in the Holy Land.

One rainy night at a Jerusalem checkpoint, Israeli Lieutenant Ari Doron is ordered to refuse passage to a young Palestinian mother and her sick boy. The incident leads to a series of riots, and Doron finds himself pulled into the bitter political aftermath as battles and bus bombs explode around him.

He is drawn to Marina, the boy's American-born mother. And though she is on the other side of the bloody struggle, she finds herself thinking of Doron as "her soldier." In another place, at another time, they might have been lovers, but here their story moves toward a tragic conclusion with the kind of inevitability that war imposes.

Marina's father, an eminent Boston heart specialist and an outspoken Palestinian intellectual, is also sucked into the conflict he thought he had left behind long ago. Now, back in the streets of his youth, he must choose whether to support his old comrades as they manipulate his grandson's story in an ugly propaganda campaign, or break with them and wreck his last remaining childhood friendship.

Caught in history's terrible catastrophe, all three become pawns for larger, inescapable forces.

"Martyrs' Crossing" is a poignant story of the ambiguities of war -- of inarticulate longing and broken vows -- set in the turbulence of Israel and the West Bank.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

An increasingly suspenseful debut novel from the award-winning New Yorker writer (The Rainy Season, 1989) that spins a persuasively elaborate plot from a tragic "incident" at a Jerusalem checkpoint ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mbergman - LibraryThing

A story rich in human emotion set in contemporary Ramallah & Jerusalem. A Palestinian American who returned to Palestine to marry a Hamas activist watches her son die at a checkpoint as she waits to ... Read full review


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

19 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2001)

Amy Wilentz won the PEN/Martha Albrand Prize for nonfiction and the Whiting Writers Award, and was a nominee for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1990. She is the author of The Rainy Season, and has written for The Nation, The New Republic, and The New York Times. She was the Jerusalem correspondent for The New Yorker from 1995 to 1997. She lives in New York City with her husband and three sons.

Bibliographic information