Paper Bride

The story takes place seventy years ago in Palestine under the British Mandate. It focuses on a romantic triangle: Anna, a young medical student from Poland; Imri, an idealistic young Jew from a village in Palestine and Major Charles Timothy Parker, a British pilot stationed at the Royal Air Force base next to the Jewish village.
The story begins with fictitious marriage. Imri leaves for Poland on a Zionist mission. He has agreed to marry a woman unknown to him, in order to produce a legal immigration certificate for her. In the 1930s, such arranged marriages allowed more Jews to enter Palestine, thus circumventing the strict British quota laws.
Imri has promised to marry four young brides “on paper” only. His plan, however, go sadly awry, when on the boat trip back from Europe he falls in love with Anna, the first of his “paper brides”. Since they must divorce, Imri leaves Anna at the care of his spinster aunt and his younger brother Uzik, a wild orphan, who suffers from dyslexia.
Because of his learning disability Uzik is passionate admirer of the cinema, especially for the Tarzan movies’ hero Johnny Weissmuller.
The boy witnesses the tall, mysterious woman torn between her Jewish lover and the attractive Englishman, who offers her a life of security in England..
Sixty years later Uzik recalls his childhood. Now he is an old film-maker, making a movie about this long forgotten tale of love.
Marriage in the service of one’s country, giving up home, family and mother tongue - these are only a few of the prices people must pay when they say goodbye.
Bride on Paper is a farewell to a romantic era.

Review in "Jewish Review of Books", USA, April 2013


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