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Description - The Sergeants' Tale by Bernice Rubens

1947: One year before the Israeli War of Independence and Palestine is still under the British Mandate. However, young Israelis are flocking to the leadership of Menachim Begin and his Irgun terrorist movement in an attempt to overthrow their rulers. Two British sergeants are kidnapped by the Irgun. They will be executed unless there is a widespread amnesty for the Irgun freedom fighters - and so begins a hunt throughout Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the whole of Palestine to find and liberate the two innocent young men. Based on a true story, THE SERGEANTS' TALE illuminates an historical episode, and also has enormous contemporary poignancy.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780349117300
ISBN-10: 0349117306
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 126mm x 15mm)
Pages: 224
Imprint: Abacus
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 7-Oct-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions - The Sergeants' Tale by Bernice Rubens

Book Reviews - The Sergeants' Tale by Bernice Rubens

US Kirkus Review » Two British soldiers-one Jewish-are twisted up in espionage in British Palestine. Never one for excess sentiment, Rubens (Nine Lives, 2004, etc.) allows emotions to flower somewhat in her sharp-edged, based-on-a-true-story romance that puts love and war at loggerheads. It's 1947, and the British Mandate in Palestine is drawing to a close. International condemnation has grown louder as the British refuse to accept ship after ship of Jewish refugees, "turned back to the hell from which they had sailed." A pair of British sergeants, David Millar and Will Griffiths, already conflicted about their morally dubious job of keeping the refugees from hitting the beach, are assigned an intelligence duty whereby they'll gather information on the Jewish resistance, which is divided between the mostly nonviolent Hagannah movement and the terrorist Irgun group. Although easy duty at first (they get to wear civilian clothes and be their own bosses), the intelligence work starts to wear on David and Will in true shades-of-gray le Carre-fashion. Will realizes that one of the men he plays with at a jazz club may be in the resistance, and David, who falls in love with a Jewish woman, is torn that he mustn't divulge his Jewish identity to her. Rubens zooms from her small, carefully laid-out tale of the sergeants to the larger backdrop of history, the brutal tit-for-tat campaign of Irgun bombings and British execution of Irgun prisoners, and the machinations of David Ben-Gurion and Menachem Begin, diametrically opposed resistance leaders. Just when the story seems to be settling into a rather easygoing routine, with the slow dissolution of the sergeants' military ardor, they are sucked into a kidnapping scheme that will put their heads in nooses unless the British grant amnesty to Irgun operatives. With her usual expert precision and swiftly assured strokes, Rubens cuts away the dross and leaves us with baroque emotions conveyed in a fine-tuned minimalism. Nerve-racking. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Bernice Rubens

Bernice Rubens was born in Wales. Her novels include the Booker-Prize winning THE ELECTED MEMBER and A FIVE YEAR SENTENCE, which was shortlisted for the same award.

Books By Bernice Rubens

I Sent a Letter to My Love by Bernice Rubens
Paperback, April 2008
Elected Member by Bernice Rubens
Paperback, January 1988
Brothers by Bernice Rubens
Paperback, January 1988