A heartfelt thank you!
Foreword Clarion Review
This touching, tender story of love in Israel will capture the hearts of romance enthusiasts seeking down-to-earth drama.
Cultural dominance rooted in tradition meets free-spirited passion in Together They Overcame, an absorbing tale of young love. Juliet C.B. Aharoni straightforwardly reveals what happens when indoctrinated expectations clash with natural urges.
The title itself speaks volumes, for this story is an ongoing struggle, a fight to override the familial forces that threaten to keep an eager man and a sensible woman apart.
Sweet love story
4.0 out of 5 stars, November 21, 2014, by Paulette Mahurin (usz)
When Rosalind, a nursing student, meets a handsome air force soldier in a full body cast sparks begin to fly. In a setting reminiscent of so many successful love stories—a nurse, a wounded soldier, and the varying backgrounds at odds with each other culturally, economically, and religiously—the theme is obvious. Although this has been written in prose that will most likely appeal to a YA reader, I found it a sweet read as Rosalind goes from ambivalence to what may come, at the urging of Eyal, the handsome soldier who has fallen heads-over-heel for her. He from Jewish farmers and she from a family of wealth, with a German Catholic mother, the stage is set for some interesting conflict. And as the story progresses, like the title states, as they come together, together they overcome.
The Power of Love
5.0 out of 5 stars, August 31, 2014, by Nomie Schimmel
Juliet C.B. Aharoni’s debut novel describes with delicacy and sensitivity a two-year complicated relationship between a young couple living in Israel after the Sinai Campaign. Rosalind, an eighteen-year-old came to Israel with her boyfriend, Foxy from South Africa. When she breaks off with him, she meets Eyal and after a brief encounter, they marry. The author succeeds in depicting the relationship between the couple and their battles to overcome prejudice because of the young wife’s background. She’s the daughter of a German Catholic. Once I started reading I couldn’t put the novel, ‘Together They Overcame’ down.
A Story of two Diverse Cultures
4.0 out of 5 stars, October 6, 2014, by Yvonne Crowe (NZ)
The writer, Juliet Arahoni has bravely tackled the story of lovers from two immensely different cultures who struggle through the diversities that threaten to destroy their relationship. No mean feat when one of these countries is Israel.
We tend to think all Jewish people are the same, but forget their parents who moved to Israel after WWII were citizens of diverse European countries, with dissimilar attitudes. Life is tough enough as rural farmers in this very new Nation. Add personal baggage and it becomes insurmountable.
It would be easy to blame all Rosalind’s problems on her mother in law whose personal issues from her background are no different to those of many women who find it difficult to form close relationships and resent outsiders encroaching into their personal space.
Rosalind is a young, sensitive and cosseted daughter from a well to do family in South Africa who follows her boyfriend to Israel, but parts from him because of his violent tendencies. As a young nurse in a hospital, the culture shock of nursing young men who have been physically and emotionally scarred from battle is a challenge indeed. She meets Eyal and moves into his family home. The conflict that arises between her and Eyal’s mother is the worldwide problem of two women sharing common territory.
Moving into their own space presents challenges of its own and as Rosalind is still immature, the road remains rocky. She fantasizes about her previous lover as an escape from her situation. It takes her some time to find her own strengths and the marriage finally becomes stable.
It is a great insight into the lives of the Israelis, particularly in the rural area and a stranger who comes into their midst.
Juliet has written a very sensitive story which will appeal to a broad section of readers.
Through hard times in Israel, a young couple overcome to make their love and their marriage work
5.0 out of 5 stars, October 23, 2014, by diane pepper smith
Together They Overcame is an excellent example of a young couple’s struggle as a mixed marriage. Eyal is Israeli Jewish and Rosalind’s mother is a German Catholic. This is a double strike against Rosalind with her mother-in-law, Sarah the moment she saw her, plus she is a very beautiful girl of which Sarah is very jealous.
The hatred Sarah feels for her daughter-in-law causes many rifts between the young couple. This goes on for years with Rosalind not allowed in Sarah’s house. She wants Eyal to leave his wife, and move back home with her.
Finally after a terrible accident leaving Rosalind in a coma for several weeks, Eyal promised not to listen to his mother any longer and to make up for all the hateful things he had done and said to Rosalind.
Juliet Aharoni has great knowledge of Israel and uses it in writing this book. By using this knowledge it makes it both educational and entertaining. My Kudos to Ms, Aharoni for writing such an interesting love story.
Honest and Vivid Writing
5.0 out of 5 stars, October 21, 2014, by Pam B
Although the language and style seemed slightly stilted, I was grabbed by this young woman’s story and was intrigued by her very realistic and challenging dilemmas. The protagonist is Rosalind, a young woman who was raised in a very comfortable home in South Africa. At eighteen, she volunteers to go to Israel, an alien land where religious, cultural and material differences are overshadowed by her need to be loved and to belong. Having gone through an emotional break-up with her boyfriend, her vulnerability and confusion are heightened when she falls for one of her patients, a handsome Israeli soldier who was wounded during the Sinai Campaign of 1956. Rosalind and Eyal struggle with their love for each other and find their physical attraction to one another is enough to get them through almost everything. But there are deeper problems for which sex is not enough. In this book, the writing is honest and vivid, the struggles believable when one remembers the ages of the young characters and the times in which they lived. Not only does it tell the story of true love, but the story of coming of age in a most remarkable way.
A Love Story Like No Other
5.0 out of 5 stars, October 20, 2014, by Sheila M. Belshaw
An unputdownable romantic novel by an author who is not afraid to expose the truth about married life.
I found it fresh, unique, unusual, and totally mesmerizing.
Because I suspect that the novel is partly autobiographical, the author does now and then slip away from the main thrust of the story, but these few diversions are so fascinating and informative that I was at no time tempted to skip a single word.
Telling a story from an omniscient point of view can sometimes confuse a reader when in one paragraph several characters explain their thoughts. But Juliet Aharoni never allows her multi viewpoints to muddle a scene; on the contrary, with a deft hand she weaves in the causes and effects of every action, making each character come alive, and makes you feel as though you are right there, walking behind them and witnessing every nuance of their passion and their seemingly unsolvable dilemmas.
The young eighteen-year-old South African and her handsome Israeli lover’s passionate relationship is central to the plot, but even more dynamic – and dovetailing seamlessly into this sometimes turbulent liaison – is the conflict of emotions Rosalind and Eyal are confronted with when Eyal’s mother refuses to accept her adored son’s love for his beautiful foreign wife – a situation that Aharoni handles with great insight, and which many readers will recognize and empathize with.
The sex scenes, although physically explicit, are totally natural, although I felt there could have been a little more emotion between the lovers.
I finished the book desperately wanting to know more, sad that I was saying goodbye to these fascinating characters and hoping that there may soon be a sequel.
5.0 out of 5 stars, October 18, 2014, by Izzy
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
“Together They Overcame” is a sweet love story between Rosalind, an eighteen year old from South Africa, and Eyal, an Israeli soldier.
Rosalind travels from her home in Johannesburg, South Africa to Israel to work and study nursing in a hospital. This is where she meets Eyal, who is recovering from a gun shot wound. As Eyal commences courting Rosalind, it becomes apparent that they are complete opposites from different worlds. She, the daughter of a Jewish father from England and a Catholic mother from Germany, lead a life of privilege in Johannesburg. Eyal, by contrast, is the eldest son of hard working Jewish farmers.
The young couple fall in love and get married.
Their differences, while ever present, are not their main obstacle. Eyal’s mother, Sarah, refuses to accept Rosalind into the family because, since her mother is Catholic, she is not considered to be Jewish. She further drives home the need to remember the Holocaust and the need to marry within the Jewish faith. We soon discover that Sarah is an egotistical, self-centered woman who is nothing more than jealous of her son’s beautiful young wife. She goes to extremes to drive a wedge between them and make their lives miserable. This proves to be a difficult hurdle for Rosalind because of her youth, inexperience and naivete. Eyal, caught between the love for his wife and mother, struggles with guilt and loyalty.
Ms. Aharoni aptly describes post WWII life in Israel. Her descriptions of historical sights and character development draws the reader in transporting them into another world. The sexual scenes are loving and tastefully done. I found it hard to put down the book. My only lament is that it ended too soon.
Beautiful and touching
5.0 out of 5 stars, September 20, 2014, by Suruchi Goyal
Together they overcame is a very touching story of a young girl named Rosalind. Set in the early days of Israel the story gives a perspective on lives of people who have just come out of their worst phase. Rosalind’s coming of age and her struggle to fit in the new family makes it a compulsive read. Two thumbs up for the author.
5.0 out of 5 stars, September 5, 2014, by tom elder
Rosalind is an 18 year old South African girl who decides to go to Israel with her boyfriend Foxy, to work in a hospital treating the wounded. After a bit she splits up with Foxy, she then meets up with Eyal who has been badly injured. Eyal then asks her for a date which she accepts. After dating for a spell they get married, much to Eyals mums disgust. Rosalind is a catholic from German descent and her mother in law despises this.
This story is all about their struggles in trying to make the marriage work, which is difficult enough given she is in a strange country. This book is fast paced and will keep your attention to the end. I hope there is a follow up to this book, as Juliet describes this country well.
A couple’s journey in a country struggling to find its identity
5.0 out of 5 stars, 22 Sep 2014, by Nicholas C. Rossis
A fascinating story, moving and powerful. Aharoni makes the world of Rosalind come to life, with small details like the fights over long showers making all the difference. Reading the comments, I was a little worried about the sex, but I found the descriptions honest and discreet. In fact, if I had to describe the book in a word, I’d say, “honest”. There is a sense of a true story that permeates it, making it hard to tell fact from fiction.
Aharoni creates characters that are realistic and easy to identify with. Also, her pacing is good, creating the appropriate tension and release in all the right places. Finally, the novel was well edited, and I found next to no typos or errors.
My one concern about the writing has to do with the relatively large amount of exposition, as modern readers, used to the modern “show, don’t tell” style of writing, may find it unnecessary.
Still, if one can ignore this relatively minor gripe, this is a great story of a young couple’s efforts to make their relationship work in a country that is struggling to find its identity and place in the world. They have to overcome prejudice; a mother-in-law that will stop at nothing to destroy their marriage and a culture that is strange and unfamiliar to the young bride from South Africa.
I’m looking forward to finding out more about Rosalind’s life!
Experiences and family bonds to find happiness together
5.0 out of 5 stars, 10 Sep 2014, by CarreeBee
I found this an absorbing and claustrophobic portrait of the interior of a relationship. Can Rosalind and her beloved Eyal ever free themselves from their backgrounds, experiences and family bonds to find happiness together? (Warning: contains sex scenes)