Book Review: The Ones Who Won by Nuria Amir

Title: The Ones Who Won
Author: Nuria Amir
Genre: Middle-Eastern, Sports, Historical Fiction
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Meet ambitious, dynamic Tamar – a young star bucking the system.

This captivating true story, based on diary entries, takes place in the early days of the kibbutz. Tamar, an adolescent girl and the story’s heroine, draws the reader into a whirlwind of emotions, adventure, and constant wonder at the power of nature. She likes to challenge herself and almost every rule and framework of the society in which she lives. She is swept into a world of competitions and ambitious high achievement.

Plots and sub-plots intertwine as Tamar courageously navigates her path.

How will the equality-based kibbutz society, built largely by Tamar’s parents, react to the young Israeli champion? She forms a courageous friendship and a treacherous love. A weapon appears in the story’s beginning and is fired at its conclusion, bringing about a surprising and tragic ending. The motif of endless confrontation between the individual and society and how society imposes its rules comes to light through Tamar’s unique reactions. Can she maintain her freedom?

In The Ones Who Won, Tamar is a young woman growing up in a community known as kibbutz – something I knew next to nothing about. The book sheds an interesting light on the kibbutz community, from the perspective of a young woman raised in these circumstances.

It’s an intriguing perspective, and through Tamar’s reactions on certain situations, you realize as a reader how different life is for people raised this way. Despite this, Tamar is a strong-willed woman who likes to challenge herself, particularly in sports, and who sets very high goals for herself.

An inspiring book, well-written and captivating.


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