Semel is a wonderful author. Her book "Paper Bride" reveals for the first time in Israeli literature the phenomenon of fictitious marriages during the 1930s in Palestine... Semel proves that being a "Sabra" is only a limited thing. Semel's heroes are immigrants and sons of immigrants who, like the author herself, cannot disconnect themselves from the deep experience of immigration.
"Hashavua" magazine, May 1996

So interesting. Historical, romantic and juicy. A wonderful combination.
Ophira Ben Arieh, the Hebrew Book Club, Chicago. USA, spring 1996

A book connected deeply to the struggle for independence, having a Homeland and achieving love. Research of Hebrew literature has found a distinction between writing about the collective "us" in the first years of Israel, and the very personal "I" of today. This book reflects upon "us" from the point of view of "I"...

It brings back to life the time before the Holocaust, before the Arab revolt and before the long bloody war between Arabs and Jews. This book explores the "Writing on the wall"...

Like in Semel's previous books the world is seen through the eyes of a child, who observes the reality of grown-ups... The book combines different cultures - English, Israeli and Arab, through a tale told in the book in different versions... Tarzan is Uzik's reflection of the world, because the boy struggles with the limited power of words to express everything.
"Gallei Zahal", Army Radio Station, spring 1996.


Romantic Zionist novel... Very special atmosphere... Special flavor of the time of the British Mandate... The moral dilemma in this book is whether to choose between a national obligation and personal love... The book is filled with many movie recollections, because the main character is an admirer of the Tarzan movies... I'm sure this book isn't only for the "underground" of romantics. No doubt it will find many readers.
"Tonight", Israeli TV news magazine, spring 1996.

A Fascinating story. Through this book people will remember their own personal biography."
"Kol Israel" - the Israeli Broadcasting Service, June 1996.

The book broke a conspiracy of silence of sixty years. The story of fictitious marriage was kept in the dark until Nava Semel came and exposed this extraordinary phenomenon. A tragic romantic triangle. This is the tragic story of a man who took upon himself the national mission of marrying four wives, regardless of any feelings. Later, he fell in love with his first wife and divorced her. Than, his second wife fell in love with him and refused to divorce him. It's a story of emotional blackmail. We'll leave those to our readers... It's difficult to tell your children that you were once married without love, but on the other hand it's so romantic for two young people to embark on a ship, sailing together to a strange land.
Israeli TV, Friday Magazine, Spring 1996.

Unlike the common belief in Zionist literature research different things exist in Uzik's private Palestine: co-existence between Jews & Arabs, joint resistance against the British occupiers, and the harmony with a British army pilot, who stars as Anna's beau in Uzik's cinematic imagination. Given the opportunity Uzik would have invented a happy ending to this story. But unfortunately, such an ending is still to be found in Palestine.
"Moznaim" Literary magazine, June 1996.

This is the kind of book I slow down towards its end, so it won't finish too soon.
Dr. Yaron Peri, History Department, Haifa University. Spring 1996

As the story progressed I found myself drawn into the life of the characters, which became more and more flesh and blood, filled with so much soul. I was transferred into another world. You brought up a dimension, unknown even for people who lived the time thorough, and are familiar with its facts. This book is full of magic. The reader enjoys a spiritual voyage. May you bless us with many more books like "Bride on Paper".
Eliya Oria, Advocate. Summer 1996.

You took me back to my own innocent childhood. As one of Israel's veteran army pilots, who served also as a combat pilot in the Royal British Air force, I felt close to Major Parker. You will understand how deeply I identify with your plot and your characters... This book is a 10! Thank you for the pleasure you've given me.
Uri Yarom, Veteran Israeli Air Force pilot. Spring 1996.


german newspaper review  

The novel brings to the German reader an unknown period in the history of Israel. It puts it in the focus of the plot and exposed all the tensions of this reality. Uzik, like many of his age, struggles over his identity. The novel is full of suspense and full of humor.
Eselsohr July 2003

Bitter - Sweet love. With sensitivity and humor Nava Semel tells a tale of love and friendship, crossing the boundaries of cultures and religions.
Hits fur Kids, no. 20. April 2003

On Historical background a story charges psychologically and multi dimensional literary. It is not a fast reading material but a novel targeted also for adults.
Ekz-Informationsdienst, July 2003

Like in a movie, Nava Semel leads her characters, illuminating scene by scene the different destinies of both the Jewish village people and their Arab neighbors. She presents also the funny sides of the life of these two communities. Excellent translation by (German author) Mirijam Pressler.

A most moving and funny book. Silent sorrow goes through the text, hinting that the characters live under the shadow of the Holocaust.
Sueddeutsche Zeitung, August 2003


Observing the world from the eyes of a child - this is Nava Semel's unique way. Because beyond the conventions, people try not to lose the sense of uplifting coming from their childhood. For their entire life they seek its lost magic....

Ms. Semel demands from adults to be decent partners to children, equal in collecting the fruits of wisdom.... The book's way is direct, precise and moving, while the reader returns to his original innocence... Semel writes prose of the very authentic kind. She is a gifted author with both thin irony and tragic dimension. This is literature at it's best.
Carol Isaac, Ultima Ore, November 2000.

An enchanting tale.... A gallery of characters that provide lessons about co-existence, partnership and tolerance, yet with the understanding of the ethnic and ideological differences....

One of the most beautiful symbols in the book is the blooming branch on which bees choose to nest - a symbol of love. Whoever reads this wonderful book will enjoy both the scent of flowers and the sweetness of honey, created by the gift of an Israeli author.
Alexandru Singer, La Realtatea Evrelasca, October 2000.

The story exposes richness in styles, flexibility and purity.... The book is well established with particulars for each character, including the psychological layers and the understanding the crisis of growing up... the breath of authentic life (in the book) is the result of a creative strategy, designed with intelligence and sensitivity.
Elena Tacciu, Minimum, January 2001

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