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Malka grows up in the Old City of Jerusalem in the confines of the Ultra-orthodox Jewish community. Meandering through the narrow streets she finds herself at the door of one of the city's most renowned and reclusive mystics and discovers her father's top rabbinical student, Russian immigrant Moshe studying forbidden Kabbalistic texts. She has a disturbing vision of a tree of prayers growing up inside the house, and the prayers all seem to be talking to her. The prayers become a giant bird, and chase her from the house. Malka has unwittingly uncovered a great mystical gift. Kabbalists believe that since the world was spoken into existence, if they can hear and understand that original Divine language, they can use it themselves, to shape and manipulate reality. Once in a millennia, a kabbalist is born with this ability. It turns out that Malka is one of them. After a disastrous first date with Moshe, Malka flees Jerusalem for Safed where she is drawn into a cult called Mystical Encounters, run by charismatic cult leader Avner Marcus. Avner is unsettled by Malka's authenticity, and she is not allowed to attend classes. Her only friends are former night club singer Shira, and traumatised ex-soldier Evven. Malka sets up her own mystical retreat in the woods, at an abandoned construction site. When she reveals this to Avner, he forces her to take him there and tries to rape her. Malka manages to evade him, and then burns down the cult after manipulating the Modern Hebrew word for Electricity, Chashmal
Malka heads for Tel Avi, and sleeps rough on the beaches of the mixed Arab-Jewish city of Jaffa. Here she is discovered by legendary Arab chef Rukh Baraka, who is seeking to rekindle his career by training Arab and Israeli street children to create extraordinary food for his new restaurant, the Leviathan. Malka bonds with fellow runaway Mahmoud, who is escaping the wrath of his Imam father at his "deviant" sexuality. Mahmoud reveals the city behind the city, the hidden Palestinian history of which Malka has been ignorant. Moshe has been trying to find Malka and is forced to confront some of his own demons, including the disappearance of his younger sister when she was in his care. Moshe swears that he will not lose another girl he loves.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 310 pages
  • 128 x 198 x 24mm | 328g
  • Hebden Bridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 191042241X
  • 9781910422410
  • 35,179

About Ariel Kahn

Ariel Kahn was born in 1973. Prior to his academic career he was traing to be a Rabbi in Jerusalem. He has a PhD in creative writing from Roehampton University, where he is now a Senior Lecturer. He has degrees in English Literature from Clare College in Cambridge, and an MA in Indian and African literature from SOAS. Ariel was also a driving force in the Arab Israeli Book Club, which he set up together with Palestinian novelist Samir El Youssef. The club was dedicated to building bridges, and creating a space for empathy and shared stories. Ariel won the Bloomsbury New Voices competition and the London Writing Competition and come runner-up in the national Pulp Idol Fiction competition in 2017.Raising Sparks is his first novel.
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Rating details

89 ratings
3.65 out of 5 stars
5 19% (17)
4 38% (34)
3 33% (29)
2 9% (8)
1 1% (1)
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