Real Time is Pnina Kass Moed's novel set in contemporary Israel, telling a story in real time, in which the lives of so many people come together, minute by minute. The narration switches back and forth between several different characters, telling one story but also many stories. These characters include Thomas, a German boy who has come to Israel looking for answers about his family, Baruch, a Holocaust survivor who now works on a kibbutz, Vera, another kibbutz worker who is finding her Jewish roots and escaping her tragic past in Odessa, Sameh, a Palestinian working illegally at a diner, Saheh's friend Omar, a reporter, and many others. All of these people are different, looking for different things, but there is a moment when all of their lives come together, and it is a tragedy.
So much sadness, so much despair, is evident. Can there be healing and hope for those who survive this tragedy? Only time will tell.
This novel is a breathtaking story, but it's more than that. For one thing, it's a behind-the-scenes look at what is usually seen only on television. It's more than behind-the-scenes; it's the secrets, thoughts, hopes, and dreams of every person involved. The way this story is told, in (as the title suggests) real time, switching back and forth between several narrators, is a part of what makes it amazing. If just one character told the story, so many aspects of it would not be seen. Pnina Kass Moed is a brilliant writer, and the story she tells in Real Time is equally brilliant.
**This review is also posted on TeensReadToo.com**