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Someone to Run With

Someone to Run With. By David Grossman. Translated by Vered Almog and Maya Gurantz. Bloomsbury pound;7.99

Jerusalem is a closed city to Mourid Barghouti; in this exciting contemporary quest story by one of Israel's top writers, the three main characters struggle to free themselves from their private prisons.

At the apex of the triangle is Theodora, for whom a promise made in her youth has led to virtual house arrest maintaining a refuge for pilgrims in the holy city. Books become her escape route until she is befriended by Tamar, a high-achieving middle-class teenager who disappears into the drugs underworld on a rescue mission. Assaf, the bored young council worker who picks up Tamar's stray dog, becomes obsessed with reconstructing her journey into a world invisible to most passers-by in a tale that has emotional depth as well as narrative strength.

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