A holy gem

Moshe Sakal's first novel translated into English is a clunky, sprawling tale of diamonds, love and Israeli history.

April 25, 2018 16:45
3 minute read.
A BLUE diamond for sale at Sotheby’s in London, April 2018

A BLUE diamond for sale at Sotheby’s in London, April 2018. (photo credit: HENRY NICHOLLS/REUTERS)


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 The Diamond Setter, the most recent offering from Israeli novelist Moshe Sakal, is a sprawling, and at times sputtering, family history and love story revolving around a mysterious blue diamond that has made its way across the Middle East.

The novel is set in Tel Aviv, and begins when Fareed, a young a man from Damascus, crosses into Israel and heads to Jaffa to explore his roots. He tumbles into Tel Aviv’s gay scene, and ultimately gets involved with an Israeli soldier and his boyfriend – the grandson of a local jeweler. The diamond in Fareed’s pocket connects these families back for decades, before the State of Israel was even founded.


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