It's 1994, and Adam, a drug addict from New York City, arrives at a kibbutz in Israel with a medieval sapphire brooch. To make up for a past crime, he needs to get the priceless heirloom to a woman his grandfather loved when he was a Holocaust refugee on the kibbutz 50 years earlier. There Adam joins other troubled people trying to turn their lives around: Ulya, the ambitious and beautiful Soviet emigre; Farid, the lovelorn Palestinian farmhand; Claudette, the French Canadian Catholic with OCD; Ofir, the Israeli teenager wounded in a bus bombing; and Ziva, the old Zionist Socialist firebrand who founded the kibbutz. By the end of that summer, through their charged relationships with one another, they each get their last chance at redemption.
"There is no writer whose first novel I have awaited more eagerly than Jessamyn Hope, and
Safekeeping surpasses my expectations. It's a brilliant and captivating novel about the past, the present, and the future, about love and legacy, and it is written with Hope's singular blend of intelligence, clarity, and grace. I am very happy it is finally here among us." (Peter Cameron, author of
Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You and Coral Glynn)
"A summer on a kibbutz; a disparate cast of characters torn by their own past lives and the inescapable burdens of history; a plot driven by a valuable gold brooch crafted by a master goldsmith in the Middle Ages: from these seemingly ordinary materials Jessamyn Hope has wrought something wonderful. I don’t mean simply that her plot is compelling, utterly lucid, and deeply resonant, which it is; or that her troubled characters are created with both deep compassion and clear-eyed skepticism, which they are; or even that she writes brilliantly, which she does. What’s most wonderful about Safekeeping is the author’s uncanny sense of how much of the world can be understood by keen attention to its smallest particulars, and how meaningfulness will multiply when you refuse to force upon the reader your own personal meanings. Like the exquisite gold brooch that shimmers emblematically at its center, Safekeeping seems to glow with a rich patina of timelessness, the sign of true art. Listen, do yourself a huge favor, read this book." (Mark Dintenfass, author of Old World, New World and A Loving Place)
"In Safekeeping, Jessamyn Hope explores the manifold contradictions of the people drawn to Israel as elegantly as the medieval jeweler who designed the heirloom brooch that dramatically catalyzes her plot. Both passionate and compassionate, the novel is a joy to read." (Melvin Jules Bukiet, author of After: A Novel and editor of Nothing Makes You Free)
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