Book Review: Lydia, Queen of Palestine by Uri Orlev

Lydia, Queen of Palestine by Uri Orlev

Lydia, a typical but highly spirited child, must face her parents’ divorce as well as the growing hostility toward Romania’s Jewish population. Lydia’s mother sends her to live in a kibbutz in Palestine during World War II, promising to follow her daughter soon.

Lydia finds it difficult to adjust to life in a kibbutz. When her mother fails to show up, she tries to find her father, who is already in Israel but remarried.

“Often outrageous and abrasive, yet also delightfully imaginative, bright, and tenacious, Lydia is the archetype of a survivor, while her experiences on the periphery of the war’s horrors are authentic and fascinating.”

School Library Journal says “This is an honest book peopled with convincing characters whose petty jealousies and concerns occupy them more than the larger events of the world in which they live. Lydia’s experiences are often wryly humorous; she is both inventive and unpredictable, and never boring. This story offers a contrast to the spate of Holocaust books with harrowing escapes and heroic protagonists”

I found this a wonderful read that pulled me into the story, brought the character to live and opened my eyes to a whole new world.

Paperback, 176 pages
ISBN 0140370897 (ISBN13: 9780140370898)