A NovelPaperback - 2009
From the winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for Literature, Wandering Star is the story of two young women, one uprooted by the Holocaust and the other by the founding of the state of Israel. Bearing witness to the boundless strength of the spirit, and based on his own experience as a child in World War II, J.M.G. Le Cl#65533;zio chronicles the saga of a young girl, Esther, who, in a small mountain village north of Nice occupied by Italian forces, learns what it means to be Jewish in wartime Europe. A quiet young teenager, she suffers the loss of her beloved father and, with her mother, is forced to flee advancing German troops.
At war's end, Esther and her mother make an arduous journey to Jerusalem, where their path crosses with a group of displaced refugees, including Nejma, a Palestinian girl whose story of life in the camps balances Esther's own tale of suffering and survival. Esther and Nejma never meet again, but in their respective exiles, they are forever haunted by the memory of one another. Wandering Star is a powerful coming-of-age story and, as Le Figaro notes, truly "a luminous lesson in humanity."