If you’re like me and don’t know anything about the Jewish people; their religion, ancestry, upbringing; this is not the novel to teach you about it. The author recollects her young childhood living on a kibbutz in Israel through her young childhood eyes, and while that is a clever way to re-tell a potentially unsettling story, it also leaves you wondering which parts are fact and which are fiction.
It’s very easy in this story for Dori to slip on the rose colored glasses of youth and paint a picture that is more rainbows than storm clouds in “The Last Rain”, proving that children are either extremely resilient, or extremely stupid. But the adult reader in me was itching to yell “CAN YOU PUT YOUR MOMMY OR DADDY ON THE PHONE PLEASE” to better understand what was really going on, which was that her kibbutz was shibbutz.
At times it was cute to live in the Jewish community with Dori and her playmates misinterpreting Hebrew phrases but take those times and times them by a hundred, and that’s how many times I was confused. I was in a constant state of wondering whether I should go find an adult or program the Kids Help Phone number into their speed dial. The 8000 footnotes didn’t help this patience-lacking reader either. Sure, they quote entire interview conversations for pages on end to illustrate a point, but I have to Google what a “kibbutz” is?! Footnote fail.
My food and drink of choice for anyone curling up in their crib with this book is a Shirley Temple and matzah balls.