The Little Drummer Girl
Hello! Popping back in after a long, school-induced hiatus. After reading John le Carré's memoir over winter break, I decided to pick up one of his spy novels. And over the month of January, I slowly devoured The Little Drummer Girl. Typically, I read books super-fast and am totally wrapped up in them until I finish. However, due to my workload this term at school and just not having time, I read this book slowly, a little bit every night before bed. And the story was well suited to this piece-by-piece reading. It tells the tale of an aspiring English actress, Charlie, who is recruited by an Israeli intelligence officer to infiltrate a Palestinian terrorist group. As a double agent, she doubts her beliefs and the reader doesn't quite know what she is going to do. This element of suspense and not fully having all the knowledge works really well in the context of the story.
I really enjoyed getting to know the characters slowly. Even though it is a "spy novel," which I usually associate with action-packed exploits, it takes its time in unravelling the action (Of course, it picks up at the end). I never felt overwhelmed by details or characters, and the storyline plodded along at a pace that was enjoyable for the way I was reading the story. As someone who reads as much as I can on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this was a valuable fictional take on what is happening. Also, since it was published in 1983, it takes you back to before Oslo (the Peace Accords of 1993) and before the Intifadas, into a different era of the conflict.