The Land Agent

by J David Simons

by J David Simons

Lev Gottleib grows up in interwar Poland, a land that is going nowhere and headed for catastrophe. Inspired by a girl on whom he has an adolescent crush, he joins a group of young emigrants to Palestine. Instead of working on the land in a utopian kibbutz, however, Lev finds himself working as a land agent, and he may just have found one of the strangest and most dangerous things possible in a place where the struggle for land and resources is already beginning to grow horribly complicated: a piece of land that nobody owns and that appears on no maps. In the resulting scramble between Zionists, Kibbutzim, the British administration, a Russian engineer and the Bedouins who inhabit the land, he must find a way forward which also gives him a place in this emerging new world, in a place where politics will always endanger personal happiness. And when he meets Celia Khan, a beautiful and mysterious Scottish immigrant with herown interest in the land, he realises that the stakes may include his heart as well.


The Land Agent is the third instalment of J. David Simon's Glasgow to Galilee trilogy, following on from The Credit Draper and The Liberation of Celia Khan. Simon's expansive and humane historical vision emphasises the difficult choices that individuals must make in the face of forces bigger than themselves, and the result is a beautifully-made historical novel. In its fast-moving and accessible storytelling, in its emotional punch, and in its brilliantly-realised evocation of a time and place.


Publisher: Saraband

More like this

Tell us what you thought