What is stronger – love or hate?
Not everyone will have the same answer, depending on their life’s experience so far, their view of the world and life itself.
But it’s a question that intrigues me, and led to the writing of SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY.
Because who are we really? We have an identity imposed upon us; we don’t choose whether we are born black or white, rich or poor, Muslim or Christian. It’s just an accident of birth.
Yet 7 billion of us cling to these identities as if they describe who we are.
But who we love – well, that can be a choice.
But what happens when the person who is most like you in the world is unlike you in every other way? When they are born to someone you have been taught to hate?
Where then, does the heart lead?
Shakespeare first posed the question in Romeo and Juliet. (Though I still have a problem with two horny teenagers actually challenging the status quo over a period of three days.)
Still, that story, as metaphor, has imprinted itself on the western psyche.
But four hundred years later the question remains; if we are brought to the edge, as my two lovers are in SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY, do we follow the tribe – or do we follow our hearts?
Palestine 1933 — Jews flood into the country fleeing persecution in Europe, settling the land that has for centuries belonged to the local Arab muktars.
Sarah Landauer and Rishou Hass’an are divided by the barbed wire of the kibbutz and by their religion yet still fall in love. But as tensions rise in the country, the two are torn apart.
A decade later, Sarah works for the Haganah, the outlawed Jewish intelligence service; Rishou is in Jerusalem, trying to stay out of a war he does not believe in. But as the whole country descends into chaos, they find each other again, and cannot stay apart.
Then the British leave for good, and the Jews and Arabs prepare for the final battle of Jerusalem. Sarah and Rishou meet in secret, keeping their affair hidden even from those that they love. But finally, they must face their final agonizing destiny, forced to choose between their love for each other and their loyalty and duty to their own people.
What is the right choice?