A Woman of Israel

By Ruth Gruber

Three Rivers Press, Paperback, 9780812931532, 456pp.

Publication Date: October 10, 2000


Raquela Prywes lived on the front lines of Israel's history. A ninth-generation Jerusalemite, she found her true calling as a hospital and battlefield nurse, delivering babies in the infamous Athlit detention camp, where Holocaust survivors were interned by the British, and literally walking across minefields to tend the wounded during the 1948 War of Independence.

Surrounded by men of uncommon bravery, Raquela fell passionately in love with the handsome young captain of one of the refugee ships and had to choose between him and the brilliant and distinguished doctor who waited for her back in Jerusalem. Upon her return to Israel, she helped to found the first hospital in the desert frontier of Beersheba, where she delivered the babies of Bedouin women and Jewish immigrants, eventually organizing the hospitals credited with saving Israeli soldiers during the Six-Day War.  

Alive with the courage of a rare woman and a rugged nation, Raquela tells the powerful and deeply moving story of an Israeli woman who knew passionate love, great danger, and shattering loss and who witnessed the darkest -- and most triumphant -- moments in the history of the Jewish people. This edition of Raquela, which won the National Jewish Book Award in 1978, includes an introduction by best-selling novelist Faye Kellerman.

About the Author

RUTH GRUBER is the author of fifteen books, including Exodus 1947 and Haven. She worked as a foreign correspondent in Israel for the New York Herald Tribune for twenty years, during which she spent nine months traveling through Israel with Raquela Prywes and interviewing almost all of the people who appear in this book. To verify that every word is true, Raquela initialed each page of Ruth's manuscript.