Being Lena Levi
By Bobbie Ann Cole
Teenager identity crisis -- on steroids!
Being Lena Levi beautifully captures the thoughts and reactions of a teenager who is caught up in events larger than herself, and then struggles to make sense of her identity when she discovers the woman who has cared for and loved her is not, in fact, her mother. The country she’s grown up in is not, in fact, her homeland. Her understanding of a family history and familiar landscape and even boy next door shifts as she realizes that her world and place in it is bigger than she imagined.
I loved the book’s Israeli setting. It’s history of search for a homeland mirrors Lena’s search to find the place where she feels most at home. This book is a coming-of-age story as well as a narrative that shows how Jewish history and Christianity have so much in common.