In her story, Yehudit Hendel shows how a secret that is revealed during a so called “innocent” breakfast among friends has the power to poison a widow.
The story is constructed as a mystery, where the readers need to constantly understand the undertones, what is not being said. In this way, Hendel managed to speak about what cannot be spoken. If I need to crudely say that I would phrase it like so: “Life is tragic and traumatic, and for many the only limited cure is the bond with a loved one.
We don’t even know if this bond is real, and if deception is involved, it can lead the characters to hell.
Part 1 – The breakfast
The story starts with the innocent breakfast, and like the breakfast, we are innocent too. Right from the start there seems to be insecurity between the friends.
“I asked what for, and she said: no reason, don’t you know, don’t you know this? Just a few friends for an innocent breakfast”… “What, we need a reason? there always needs to be a reason?”
There is a sort of feeling of forceful cohesion of the friends, they all get the same name. Even Sharona, who’s name is really Sharon.
They call Rita Margarita, and quickly fix it to Rita, a hint about the change.
The mystery starts with the friend, who is just, just someone you don’t know. Many repetitions of the word “normal”.
This story is about deceit and betreyal, and already Zehava the host is deceiving herself by living in an apartment near the ocean, where you can barely see the ocean.
Also feeling right from the start is the sense of restlessness. The description of Zehava’s apartment goes on and on.
Also there is a clear distinction between the laughing individuals and the non-laughing, which later we will learn that this is because of post trauma.
Rita and the narrator are later, as usual. This shows their out of the pace of the world nature.
Rita and the narrator are put in the side, because the women’s bags are on the couch. We wonder why they can’t be moved.
There is a lot of repetition made by Rita. Maybe this simbolizes her out of this world nature. She cannot contribute anything new, only reflect.