Reviews and Press

FAMILY WARS by Ora Mendels

Amazon Reviews:

5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for all!!!, April 24, 2013
By Charlie
This is an outstanding and insightful story of internal family conflict within a country of conflict. I felt that the author brought the family meals situations so to life that you felt that you wanted to share the sabbath with them. This book had a little of something in it for all types of readers. It had family drama, romance, political intrigue, violence, and a touch of spy thriller. I cant wait for her next book to come out.

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended, April 12, 2013
By Dennis McGillicuddy
I thoroughly enjoyed this book for several reasons. I thought the story line was so informative of the struggles internally in Israel over how to deal with the external threats to Israel. I also found the story line to be engaging, filled with surprising twists and good character development. I also found the descriptive vocabulary painted a rich tapestry that made the read very enjoyable.

5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read, April 12, 2013
By arthur b hattler
This wonderful writer has again given us an outstanding read. Ora Mendels provides insight into the family interactions which are spellbinding.

5.0 out of 5 stars A Gripping Book, October 30, 2012
By Dwight (Florida) - See all my reviews
"Family Wars: A Novel of Modern Israel" is an excellent work that illustrates very well the conflicts and tensions that dominate the political and social situation in modern Israel but on the level of the people inside and outside the bounds of that society.

The book details the complex network of relationships that permeate the lives of both the Arab and Jewish population of the nation and how difficult it is to both develop and maintain them. While it also shows how political circumstances shape and limit them, it offers some hope and some despair about the future.

"Family Wars" is a very useful book for the reader who wishes to go beyond the headlines and the facile analysis that seldom goes deeper into the reality of life in a nation faced with seemingly insurmountable problems. Because the book deals with common emotions and difficult decisions (and is a very good story), it will grip the reader more tightly than those books describing political developments at a higher political level.

5.0 out of 5 stars A DAMM GOOD READ, October 23, 2012
A friend recommended I read "Family Wars by Ora Mendels. When I went to Amazon I discovered the sale price was only $2.99. A price point I did not even know existed. I know as books "age" Amazon reduces the price, in this case Amazon should actually raise the price, the book was that good. The story line is terrific with very well defined characters, you get a feeling of knowing them, there is substance there. The family stands in as an amalgamation of the people of Israel. The three generations, from the grandfather who was a hero in the war for independence to the grandson who has a very different view of what Israel should be. Through flash-backs the author develops her characters and the texture of what it feels like to live in a small country where there might only be two degrees of separation not six. The book is also a bit of an action adventure where the author manages to drop some crumbs along the way to provide the perceptive reader there is something else "about" in the book. Well written and researched. An enjoyable read, which gave the reader a feeling of what it must be like to live in Israel.

5.0 out of 5 stars Family Wars by Ora Mendels an excellent read, October 12, 2012
By marcia narunsky
Powerful characters with strong belief systems and heroic actions challenge assumptions about the political landscape and provide a dramatic roller coaster ride where changing allegiances become a reflection of the readers own turmoil. This is an exciting and thought provoking read providing both substance and entertainment. Thoroughly enjoyable!

4.0 out of 5 stars fFamily Wars is a guide to contemporary Israel., October 8, 2012
By Marta Moreno
I found "Family Wars" quite absorbing and the smooth plot development maintained my interest throughout the book. Ora Mendels, through the magic of fiction, was able to illustrate clearly the many political tendencies in contemporary Israel and the generational conflicts that torment the Jewish State. I would recommend this fine novel to anyone interested in developing a deeper understanding of the growing pains of this Middle Eastern democracy.

5.0 out of 5 stars Ora Mendels' fantastic new book, October 8, 2012
By Ken Stern
Ora Mendels shared her novel with me in draft, and I'm so delighted to see it published. This is a fantastic novel about modern Israel, with gripping characters, a fast-paced plot, and nail-biting suspense. It is a beautifully written and provocative work which wrestles with many of the challenges Israelis face today. I highly recommend it.

5.0 out of 5 stars FAMILY WARS is "required reading"!, September 26, 2012
By Janet L
I am sure that there will be many reactions to FAMILY WARS, the "novel about Modern Israel". Mine may be shared by some, those who like me, lived for (ten) years, immersed in a world foreign to the one in which I grew up. Many years ago, I lived in Israel, married into an intensely patriotic Israeli family, with roots in Turkey and Iraq. They were soldiers, parents, children, firebrands, the loyal and the uncommitted, and it was from their constant discussions and arguments that I was able to add to what I had learned from my parents of "Israel, the Zionist Dream". Now, reading my sister's novel, truly a novel about modern Israel, I have memories returning, faces reappearing, as tensions and compromises (only occasionally, agreements) are revisited....and it was different then! There is so much more that Israel and the Israelis, (the "sabras', the immigrants, the Jews and the Palestinians) and the whole world, now have to face, and Ora tells it in alarmingly real terms. It's "required reading" if you want to understand and come to know the people, the emotions, and the conflicts of that small Star of David in the Middle East.

5.0 out of 5 stars Family Wars: A Novel of Modern Israel, September 23, 2012
By Annette
It's a "MUST" read. It's a good story: the reader feels compelled to know what happens next but it is more than that. It is a modern tale bravely told; a tale encompassing the micro world of real people and their families set against the macro conflict of modern day Israel. It is about the commonalities of humanity that bind people together such as the deep concern of a parent for a child or the love of a man for a woman. Despite the differing political perspectives inherent in the novel, one comes away with a sense of optimism for the future.


The New York Times:
"Part thriller, part psychological portrait, part history, Mandela's Children tells the story of a white woman brought up in Johannesburg...mission becomes a complex dangerous intrigue. As a thriller, the novel is exciting...the story hurtles forward like an express train out of Times Square...a passionate novel."

The Philadelphia Inquirer:
"One welcomes the scope and scale of Ora Mendels' first novel, Mandela's Children...the novel races along...what seems at first to be a straight-forward mission turns out to be intensely and suspenseful, Mandela's Children reads like a solid, swift adventure. Ora Mendels knows how to tell a good earnest attempt to examine tough personal and political issues."

St Louis Post-Dispatch:
"A gripping first novel in the form of a political psychological thriller."

"Ora Mendels has written a compelling novel ... Mandela's Children would make a fine motion picture."


Publishers Weekly:
"Mendels keeps a firm grip on her complex characters as she slowly peels away the veneer of an ideal Israeli society...corruption, disillusionment, betrayal and revenge are deftly handled themes. A profoundly moving conclusion gives this novel particular emotional clout."

Library Journal:
"Mendels gambles on the value of trust even when survival depends on ruthless manipulation of victims. Ben is a person so well developed that the central betrayal and its resolution seem valid and credible, and the novel reflects the complexity of Middle East politics."

The Philadelphia Inquirer:
"...a tragic, worthy insight into Israel's national character."

The Jewish Press Magazine:
"This is an exciting story. It is a message of fatigue, fear and pain. It is a message of honesty and courage. The book is a moving reminder that the embattled defenders of Israel are only human."

This suspenseful story reveals the fractured society in Israel itself as the struggle between religious and nationalist fanatics and mainstream citizens deepens. The idealism of the founders is eroded by the younger generation's rejection of the constantly expanding settlements on Palestinian land. Young Yigal Kagan becomes a pawn in a savage blackmail plot against the government. A national and family crisis reveals deeply buried secrets.

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