Barefoot to Palestine by Loretta Krause
It’s 1987, but for the new Shakespeare teacher at a private academy in New Jersey—Cassie Komsky, who lost her US Marine husband in a bombing in Lebanon in 1983—time rewinds when she meets Samir, a student with whom she is tragically linked.
The nonverbal Samir lost his parents in the US Embassy bombing in Lebanon in 1983. And just as Cassie wants a new life for herself and her daughter, Samir hopes only to find love and a voice in a relationship with another student, Rachel.
But as Cassie leads discussions of Othello and Hamlet and what Shakespeare says about the human condition, she and her students discover the real-life effects of jealousy and hatred. Ethnic tensions and hostility threaten Samir’s future, and unwanted advances from an unscrupulous dean threaten the stability Cassie so desperately seeks. Tragedy looms large on the horizon.
Set against the backdrop of the global fallout of the Middle East conflagration of the 1980s, this dynamic tale’s genre and period-defying themes will resonate with all thoughtful readers. Interwoven with poignant parallels to the timeless ethos of Shakespeare’s tragedies, this is the tale of the dark reality that reigns when mistrust and hate triumph over humanity and love.