Love Behind Enemy Lines

Romance - Suspense
274 Pages
Reviewed on 12/03/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

While standing near a flock of sheep on Shephard's Hill in Bethlehem, I met a young Palestinian woman who was living under Israeli occupation. When she found out that I was writing a book set in Palestine, she said, "It's about time someone wrote our story."

We sat together and talked about the despair she had experienced; the bus searches and beatings, the laws prohibiting her from ever seeing her birthplace, Jerusalem. How in her desire to worship on the Sabbath she'd snuck through a hole in the security fence to reach the Mount of Olives and been shot at by soldiers. It was chilling.

Thanks to her and many others, I have been inspired to write this book. I hope as you walk with Jannah al-Jorbouni through these fictionalized experiences of love and loss in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that your heart will be as deeply touched by her story as mine has been.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ankita Shukla for Readers' Favorite

Love Behind Enemy Lines by Jeanette Anderson is a tale of forbidden romance between Palestinian Jannah al-Jarbouni and Israeli Efron Oved. From the moment their eyes met, both Efron and Jannah had felt an irresistible attraction toward each other. Their union, albeit risky, was full of passion and undeniable urgency. Their romance came to an abrupt halt when an airstrike killed Jannah's family. Yet, this was not the only tragedy that tore her heart; the evidence found at the spot framed Efron as the reason for this airstrike. With this knowledge, Jannah knew there was no hope for their love. Unbeknownst to her, evil lurking in her distant family was the root cause of not only her agony but also the culprit murdering innocents in the name of justice.

A romance that is destined to end, yet tugs at the reader's heartstrings to hope for a joyous reunion of the lovers, is the most memorable one. Reading such a love story not only entertains readers but also inspires them to spread the word about peace and love and the many atrocities of an egotistical war. Love Behind Enemy Lines is one such romantic fiction. The horrid graphics of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict in the book encourage the audience to observe firsthand how such conflicts only give rise to misunderstood violence. This conflict resulted in suicide bombers, massacres, and destruction.

Words have power, and Jeanette Anderson has chosen just the right words to paint the picture of violence and hopelessness. The beauty of her craft is that even in such a dark portrait, she managed to create strokes of love. From the conversations to their thoughts, every single sentence is filled with emotions of pain, craving for a better tomorrow, and anger at the unfairness of it all. The difficult decisions that Jannah and Efron had to take make readers scratch their heads. Ranging from the plot twists to the diverse portrayal of the characters, Love Behind Enemy Lines by Jeanette Anderson has proved to be a commendable read.

Grant Leishman

Love Behind Enemy Lines by Jeanette Anderson is a story of the seemingly never-ending struggle for peace in Israel. The depth of pain and animosity between the Palestinians and the Israelis is told through the eyes of the ordinary participants. Jannah al-Jarbouni is a beautiful young Palestinian woman, recently released from prison, who had her life ripped away from her when her family's house and most of her family were decimated in a revenge attack after a Palestinian atrocity. Efron Oved is an idealistic young journalist, who, like his father, truly believes the only way to a successful peace in this bloody conflict is through people’s hearts. Before the security fence was erected that divides the two factions, Jannah and Efron, as young teenagers, were part of an experiment to try to mix the two groups and to show each side they were just normal people. A special bond developed between the pair on this trip to the beach and slowly began to blossom into a budding romance before the realities of the strife-torn situation tore them apart. Neither has forgotten the other and now, years later, can these two young people rediscover their love for each other and show that love and understanding is the only answer to the problems that besiege the people of Israel and the Palestinians?

Love Behind Enemy Lines is a powerful and majestic novel of the everlasting hopes of love and peace. Author Jeanette Anderson lifts this story above others in the genre by creating two characters entrenched in the pain and anguish of their everyday existences and yet able to see above the hatred, above the despair, above the grinding injustice and poverty and see each other. Both Jannah and Efron have made mistakes in their lives and done things they are not proud of but they are able to find, within their hearts, something special that binds them tighter than their shared mistrust and hatred of the “other side”. The humanity that needs to exist for peace to be discovered is beautifully brought out in this haunting tale. The violence is real, the pain is real, the anguish is real, the hatred and the desire for revenge are real, and yet the author makes the reader marvel and wonder at the strength of love that beats in these two characters' hearts. The plots and sub-plots of violence and terror, of who is allied to whom and who can be trusted, add the elements of shock and surprise necessary to raise this tale into almost a thriller. As a reader, I’ve always been a sucker for a story that shows how ultimately love is the most powerful force in the Universe and that despite the travails and difficulties of any given age, the simple message is “love conquers all”. The poetry at the beginning of many of the chapters was a beautiful added bonus to this book’s wonderful tale. I can highly recommend this story to all readers.

Vincent Dublado

Love Behind Enemy Lines by Jeanette Anderson is a boldly imaginative and profoundly romantic tale that will strike a chord in your sensibilities. It is a story of a long-standing relationship between Palestinian Jannah al-Jarbouni and Israeli Efron Oved that goes back to their childhood long before the security fence divided them and changed their lives. After years of separation, Efron, now serving in the Israeli army, did not expect to meet Jannah in the most unexpected circumstances as she was being transported to an Israeli jail. As Efron’s mind races back to the moments of their childhood long ago, he also remembers the Israeli airstrike that killed her entire family. Jannah believes that he is no longer the same Efron he knew back then. In the time of killings, betrayals, and disputes, will they still find renewal and confidence that they once had for each other, or will their friendship forever remain a part of their former lives?

Jeanette Anderson’s talent for storytelling is in the details, sights, sounds, colors, and smells, and they fill the scenes so that you can experience the agony of incarceration and the lack of medical attention depicted. The dialogue is rich and the exchanges are quite blunt that reflect the tension in the plot. It does, however, give a sense of relief as you near the ending chapters. Love Behind Enemy Lines has political statements that try to cover the points of view of the opposite camps. This is a broad and well-told narrative, although the underlying turmoil in which Jannah and Efron’s relationship is set might be a little bitter to swallow. Still, you will discover the book’s appeal and enjoy the journey.

Lesley Jones

In Love Behind Enemy Lines by Jeanette Anderson, Efron Oved felt an instant attraction towards Jannah al-Jarbouni ever since they met at school. But Jannah was a Muslim and Efron a Jew so this meant their friendship had to remain a secret, especially from Jannah's family. Years later, Jannah and Efron have been separated not only by a border between their two countries, Palestine and Israel, but also by a huge betrayal. Jannah believes Efron was responsible for the airstrike that killed her family and is determined the Israelis and Efron will pay for their actions. As Jannah is about to be released from Lachish Detention Center in Israel, Efron discovers she is still alive and tries unsuccessfully to rebuild their friendship. Meanwhile in Palestine, Jannah's cousin Zamill, the notorious Black Stallion Bomber, is planning another terrorist attack. When Jannah discovers Zamill's deadly plans, she has to face some painful truths about her family and Efron. As Efron and Jannah rekindle their relationship, Jannah has an impossible choice to make. Does she help Zamill kill innocent people or save Efron? It has taken many years for Jannah and Efron to find each other but are they about to lose one another again?

This compelling novel has everything you could ever wish for; tension, suspense, and excitement. The characters' personalities jump off the page and you gain an insight into their mindsets immediately. I loved the flashbacks to when Efron and Jannah first met and the opposition they faced to remain friends. There are also many interesting and powerful sub-plots that are a great addition to the main storyline. Zamill was totally evil. He was even willing to kill his own people to save himself. There were many emotional and heartbreaking scenes to read, especially those where Jannah's cousin fell deeper into radicalization and depression after losing her child. The descriptive narrative was exceptional and brought life behind the walls of Palestine and Israel to life. The obstacles Efron and Jannah faced to save others and themselves were completely gripping. Just as you think they are free from the clutches of Zamill, he returns, even more powerful and evil. The ending will bring a tear to your eye. Love Behind Enemy Lines by Jeanette Anderson is a wonderful story of family dynamics, human psychology, and how our beliefs can turn humanity against each other.