By Alison Pick
“A riveting, timely novel that takes an essential moment in history and allows it to blaze into being in all its strange and glorious complexity. Alison Pick has a way of reinventing the novel again and again.”
– Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation
“Strangers with the Same Dream explores the dark side of utopian longing with terrific sensitivity, intelligence, and attention to beauty. Alison Pick is one of the wisest and most compassionate of writers.”
— Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies
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
“Strangers with the Same Dream deserves to be read widely, not simply for its bold, compelling engagement with a tumultuous moment in history, but for Pick’s superb gifts as a writer. Her ear is finely tuned, her prose faultlessly rendered with compassion and lyrical grace. It’s a novel deeply worthy of the accolades sure to come.”
– The Toronto Star review (August 2017)
“Engrossing… Strangers with the Same Dream is a captivating read about making the desert bloom, a story that will haunt readers with its ordinary mortal resonance.”
– Quill & Quire review (August 2017)
“Pick’s compassionate, well-orchestrated novel touches on many issues of interest to readers. It is a page-turner that will resonate long after they have completed the book.”
– Winnipeg Free Press review (September 2017)
Knopf Canada, August 2017
Headline UK, 2018