By Alison Pick
Strangers with the Same Dream, set in 1921, follows several young Jewish pioneers escaping persecution in their homelands to establish a kibbutz – a secular, socialist utopia — on a patch of land that would later become Israel. They have no farming experience and are plagued by malaria, food shortages and dubious leadership. And though the land has been “purchased” for their use, they constantly feel threatened by the watchful gaze of their Arab neighbours.
Writing with a tightly controlled intensity, Alison Pick takes us into the minds of several key players – a young woman with a seemingly benign secret that leads to terrible consequences; the leader of the group, a enigmatic man who had to leave a previous settlement under a cloud; and the leader’s wife, Hannah, whose daughter Ruth is the only child on the Kibbutz, and who desperately wants another, despite her growing apprehensions about her husband. In the course of their argument with the land, it becomes clear what sacrifices are exacted by idealism–with every successive reveal in the story falling neatly like a row of dominoes to a breathtaking conclusion.
Strangers With the Same Dream is a love story, a mystery, and a ghost story all at once. It is also, importantly, set against a fascinating political and social background that has many implications for the world today.
“Stunning. On one level, this is a fascinating novel about early Kibbutz life. On another, more deeply, it is thought-provoking fiction that asks important, relevant questions about ideology, privacy, equality, idealism, power, corruption and war.”
— Miriam Toews, award-winning author of A Complicated Kindness and All My Puny Sorrows
Knopf Canada, August 2017
Headline UK, 2018