Reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers' Favorite
Olivia Margaux-Alexander, who is from a small town near Copenhagen, Denmark, embarked on an exciting adventure. Just shy of her nineteenth birthday, she became a volunteer at a kibbutz in Israel, although her parents did not support the idea. She became instant friends with Hannah and Lola, two other Danish volunteers. Not only did Olivia leave her parents, but she also left her boyfriend, Daniel, and her loving, ill grandmother. Olivia always had a conflicted relationship with her mother, who seemed more engaged with her law firm, societal obligations and being fashionable. Olivia had an adventurous spirit and could not visualize herself following in her mother’s footsteps. She met a handsome young Israeli man named Chaim Rosen. Desert Skies, Rebel Souls by M.P. Tonnesen realistically portrays this new relationship forged by two young adults across international and cultural borders.
The author is an excellent storyteller as she skillfully interweaves the personal relationship against the dangerous, political landscape. When Chaim begins his military duty in the Special Forces, the three women volunteers embark on a trip to Jordan and Egypt, brimming with the unsettling, discriminatory biases against females. There are both difficult moments and joyful moments throughout the tale. All the characters are well-developed and interesting. While there is uncertainty as to whether the relationship can survive its many challenges, author M.P. Tonnesen has crafted an intriguing and unexpected path for this loving pair in Desert Skies, Rebel Souls. The reader will be enriched in numerous ways – a captivating book.