A brilliant, astonishing and politically timely page-turner set in 1921 Palestine, from the author of the bestselling novel Far to Go, nominated for the Man Booker Prize.
This spare, beautifully written, shocking and timely novel whisks us back to 1921 Palestine, when a band of young Jewish pioneers, many escaping violence in their homelands, set out to realize a utopian dream: the founding of a kibbutz on a patch of land that will, twenty-five years later, become part of the State of Israel. Writing with tightly controlled intensity, Alison Pick takes us inside the minds of her vastly different characters--two young unmarried women, one plain and one beautiful, escaping peril in Russia and Europe; one older man, a charismatic group leader who is married with two children; and his wife, Hannah, who understands all too well the dark side of "equality"--to show us how idealism quickly tumbles into pragmatism, and how the utopian dream is punctured by messy human entanglements.
This is also the story of the land itself (present-day Israel and Palestine), revealing with compassion and terrible irony how the pioneers chose to ignore the subtle but undeniable fact that their valley was already populated, home to a people whose lives they did not entirely understand.
Writing with extraordinary power, Pick creates unforgettably human characters who, isolated in the enclosure of their hard-won utopian dream, are haunted by ghosts, compromised by unbearable secrets, and finally, despite flashes of love and hope, worn down by hardship, human frailty, and the pull of violent confrontation. The novel's utterly shocking but satisfying conclusion will have readers flipping back to the first page to trace patterns and wrestle with the question of what is, or is not, inevitable and knowable in the human heart.
ALISON PICK was the 2002 winner of the Bronwen Wallace Award for the most promising young writer in Canada. She has published three acclaimed volumes of poetry, and her first novel, The Sweet Edge (2005), was a Globe and Mail "Best Book." Her second novel, the bestselling Far to Go (2010), was nominated for the Man Booker Prize, won the Canadian Jewish Award for Fiction, and was named a "Top Ten of 2010" book by the Toronto Star and NOW Magazine. It was also published internationally to acclaim. Her memoir, Between Gods, was also published internationally, was a finalist for the BC National Award for Non-Fiction, and was a Globe and Mail "Best Book" of 2014. The author lives in Toronto, Ontario.
“Stunning. On one level, a fascinating novel about early kibbutz life, but more deeply, this is thought-provoking fiction that asks important, relevant questions about ideology, privacy, equality, idealism, power, corruption and war.” —Miriam Toews, author of All My Puny Sorrows
“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
“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