Olivia Manning: School for Love

It is an unusual Jerusalem winter, although there is no nativity scene. It is 1945. It is about Felix, an orphan crossing over from childhood to adulthood. It is about a time of unsettling calm at the end of one war and the brewing of another conflict. It is about a place between two upheavals, and read by this reader just as the year is ending and another is about to begin.

…and maybe the story still matters to us because it is all about the state of in-betweenness, a state that we constantly find ourselves in; and because life itself is an entire in-betweenness. After all, “I suppose it means that life is a sort of school for love,” ponders Mrs. Ellis, and maybe the true test of our lives is in how we navigate through the uncertainty of this in-betweenness and treat others in their own in-betweenness.