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A gripping read by Jude Connor

Book Review by Jude Connor, Bristol.  

Until reading this book I had, like many others, been horrified and somewhat confused by the bite-sized news flashes about the conflict in Palestine/Israel that I heard on Radio 4.  I was horrified by the USA’s support of Israel’s ruthless attacks on Palestinians and confused about whose land it was anyway, both the areas occupied since 1967 and the boundaries of the state of Israel.What appealed to me about Checkpoint is that it provides a bottom-up view of the conflict, a thought-provoking insight into how the bitter conflict between Israel and Palestine devastates the lives of all its citizens, families being torn apart by opposing beliefs and death.It is also a touching story of friendship between women -an American Jewish lesbian passionately supporting the Palestinian cause, an American-born Israeli and a Palestinian woman. As with women living in areas of conflict around the world, they struggle to maintain and nurture their relationships, and thereby build bridges between communities.The characters are convincing, and Ms Saffron’s portrayal of the backdrop to this drama indicates her thorough research and compassionate involvement.  The book should come with a warning - don’t start reading until you have time to finish the book!  The narrative is gripping.I also liked the fact that the book is optimistic and, through examination of the feelings of the main characters, hints at the author’s belief that there will, one day, be a resolution and that, above all, the people caught up in this bloody war want to live in peace.