If you ever imagined what you would do in during a hijacking, you probably think that it would involve a lot of action and adrenaline… two things you won’t find much of in Miriam Moss’ Girl on a Place, which is based on her real-life experiences during the 1970 hijackings.
This book is hard to review, as it is a fictional account of true events.
I really liked Anna, David, and Tim (especially Tim – he was freaking adorable), and I thought they had a very compelling dynamic during their three-day stay in the desert at the mercy of the PFLP (Popular Front of for the Liberation of Palestine). I also thought that the story did a great job of humanizing the hijackers, something that will probably shock some readers as we live in a day and age where terrorism inherently strikes fear and a sense of “other” into our hearts and minds. But I loved the Moss doesn’t shy away from the fact that many (if not most) of the “terrorist” involved in the hijacking aren’t necessarily bad or evil people – they’re people who have lost and are doing what they feel they must do in order to regain their homeland. It’s a very humanizing (and humbling) view of both sides of the equation, and my heart ached for several of the hijackers as much as it did for Anna and her fellow hostages.
On the flip side, this is a very slow read. You definitely shouldn’t forgo it because of that, but you also shouldn’t go into thinking you’re going to be getting an action-packed fast-paced story either. I think if you know, going in, it’s going to be slow, you can still really enjoy the detailed descriptions and the historical facts, which really bring the situation to life.
Because of the close quarters within the plane, the characters all get fleshed out, which adds to the air of accuracy, and I liked how realistic the whole situation felt. Three days sitting in a plane in the desert with barely any food or water isn’t going to pass by quickly. It’s going to be a slow and torturous wait.
All in all, I enjoyed this look at history, and would definitely recommend it to anyone more interested in events that took place in the Jordanian desert in 1970.
Rating: 3/5 stars