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The blurb of this novel (collection of connected pieces) reminded me of Tim O’Brien’s ‘The things they carried’. However I struggled to follow the opening sections and found the connections difficult as well.
The storylines are brutal and very graphic in places, as is the nature of war. I think that junior or less mature readers would struggle with the way the narrative jumps and the stream of consciousness nature of the dividing sections.
Joshua’s football goes over the wall into another place, a place where he is not allowed to go. Being an inquisitive and possessive 13 year old boy he is determined to get it back. A hidden tunnel takes him under the wall, past houses flattened and destroyed. He emerges into a world that is vastly different to his own. Sound familiar?
Of course it does. Children’s literature is full of magical ‘other worlds’. But this is no fairy tale world. The wall Joshua tunnels under separates the occupied territories in Israel from the Palestinian refugees on the other side. The world Joshua enters is full of deprivation – lack of food, lack of medicine, lack of freedom. Vastly different to his world back across the wall in the ‘new town’ his step-father has taken them to re-settle in.
The wall is a story of families, friendships and obligations that survive any such divide. And of course as with all relationships, there can be tragedies. The wall provides a well researched and documented narrative of life in the occupied Palestinian territories.
You can read a review of The wall here