In other times, they would never have met. They come from different corners of Israeli society, rooted in their own beliefs, busy with their own troubles. Farmers and fishermen, skeptics and believers, immigrants and natives, children and grandparents struggle with faith, loss, jealousy, hope—and the turmoil around them only deepens the rifts that divide them.
But when the Israeli government orders all Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip destroyed, Neve Adva—the settlement some of them call home—becomes the unlikely crossroads where all their worlds collide and all their lives are changed forever.
Daniella Levy’s magnificent, richly nuanced novel challenges us to step outside our bubbles and question everything we’ve believed about the Other.
Disengagement is more than just the story of one fictional settlement. It’s about what it means to disengage—from home and surroundings, from friends, neighbors, and family, from opinions and deeply held beliefs. And it’s about how listening to one another and learning from unexpected encounters can help us become connected again.
Praise for Disengagement:
“Brilliant and troubling… Levy… has a deep understanding of the traumatic processes she writes about, and she is able to convey the heartache and disorientation in an engaging manner and with a sense of immediacy.” — Philip K. Jason, Washington Independent Review of Books
“A thoroughly engaging novel, a quick but engrossing read… Levy’s writing skillfully weaves together the perspectives of numerous characters, effectively recreating the build-up to the traumatic 2005 disengagement.” — Jessica Steinberg, The Times of Israel
“Disengagement… demonstrates that while Levy certainly can relate to the experiences of the Gaza Israelis who were forced to give up their homes — fellow settlers who, like her, lived Orthodox lives — that’s far from the only perspective she is capable of authentically portraying… [it] is gripping, moving and frequently surprising.” — Chris Leppek, Intermountain Jewish News
“Disengagement is absolutely top-flight… Daniella Levy’s characters truly come to life, and across such a diverse range… her interpretations allow stereotypes (by personality type, by ethnic type) to be avoided, and allow individual differences to emerge. At a broad socio-political level, I learned a great deal… The writing is so smooth and nuanced that the book is hard to put down.” — Peter W. Van Arsdale, Ph.D., cultural anthropologist and author of Global Human Rights
“To call Daniella Levy’s new book Disengagement compelling is an understatement — more like gut wrenching. I have not read any other work that captured the complexity of Israel’s 2005 disengagement from the Gaza Strip so well, or which presented it in such a moving manner. If you want a multi-narrative perspective on one of the most important political events in the Middle East of the last few decades, Disengagement is a must read.” —Rav Mike Feuer, educator, creator of the Jewish Story podcast, and co-author of the Age of Prophecy series