Finding The Grain by Shulamit Hartal Literary Fiction Novel #Review #promotion


Finding The Grain by Shulamit Hartal

Can you still have self-discoveries and change your life at a late middle age?

Chani Tavin is testimony to the fact that it is never too late to learn.

One day Chani Tavin, a sculptress in late middle age, has a fortunate accident when she literally trips over a pile of psychology books at the local recycling center. She is fascinated since it sparks off a vast change in her life. Chani takes the pile home, applying the psychology she is learning to unravel the secrets of her own life.

As Chani re-examines her life, she revisits her childhood. The emotional wasteland of the conditions in which she grew up rise to confront her. Chani starts to see her own life in perspective, and she has to learn how to embrace and forgive herself for feelings she still carries. However, just when Chani achieves a startling insight in understanding her past, she dies unexpectedly the following day.

The story is set in the frame of the 7- day period of mourning that follows Chani Tavin’s death and it encompasses including various dramatic and revealing conversations between the family of the narrator and her friends and neighbors.

Chani Tavin is testimony to the fact that it is never too late to learn, even as the mother of grown up children and a teenage grandchild.


Shulamit Hartal shows amazing writing skills in Finding The Grain…She delivers a well-crafted plot with beautifully developed characters that will keep you reading.

You won’t be able to put the book down as soon as Chani starts reexamining her life and her past… The self-discovery journey is fascinating and just as Chani gains complete understanding of her past…she dies. The story is set in the frame of the 7- day period of mourning, the shiva, that follows Chani Tavin’s death and you get to meet her family and her friends through several dramatic and shocking conversations.

Finding The Grain by Shulamit Hartal is a captivating and inspiring story and Chani Tavin is proof that it is never too late to learn.


CaptureShulamit Hartal was blessed with a multi-faceted creativity that expressed itself in sculpture, journalism, teaching and fiction. Born in Israel in 1937, in her early twenties she married Dov Hartal, (who had been her childhood sweetheart) and studied journalism at the Advanced School for Law and Economics in Tel Aviv, the institute that would become the University of Tel Aviv. Her journalistic skills were put to use when she worked for seven years at Israel’s leading daily newspaper, Haaretz, both as a journalist – with a weekly column for the youth supplement of Haaretz on art and on handicrafts -as well as reviewing new consumer products and appliances. She also worked in the archive at Haaretz. The weekly articles on crafts for youth were collected in two volumes and became the books: “Home Boutique”, “With Your Own Hands” (Karni Publications, in Hebrew).

Soon after the couple spent five years in the United States, where Shulamit studied sculpture at the University of Minesota, and Dov, a chemical engineer, completed his Ph.D in Food Science and Biotechnology.
On their return to Israel, Shulamit pursued further studies in sculpture at the Avni Institute in Tel Aviv.

Meanwhile, the couple had three children, a boy and two girls. Both daughters both showed artistic leanings and eventually went to art school, to The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design (Jerusalem) and The Shenkar College of Engineering and Design (Tel Aviv).

Yet despite her diverse interests and talents, Shulamit Hartal’s true love remained sculpture, which provided an outlet for her tremendous creativity. She developed a method of sculpture using wire mesh, which narrows the gap between a concept and its realization in three dimensions. Terming this innovation the “Hartal Method”, Shulamit wrote a book outlining its use, Kal VeChomer (1993, available through the Tel Aviv Museum store).

For over thirty years she was a much-loved and charismatic teacher of sculpture, not only deploying considerable people skills, but passing on the Hartal method to some two thousand students. From around the world, and over the course of decades, many of her students remained regularly in touch until her untimely death in November 2013.

“Finding the Grain” was Hartal’s fifth book and first novel (apart from the craft books and the book on the Hartal Method, there was also a charming book for children, inspired by her grandchildren, “Curly Eyal”). The idea for Finding the Grain, (which in the original Hebrew was titled Tarnegolet Iveret, “Blind Chicken”) was sparked off when Hartal literally stumbled over a pile of psychology books at the local recycling center. Later, in what was to be the last year of her life, Hartal devoted herself to this heavily auto-biographical novel. At first she worked intensively and in the final months, feverishly. The book saw publication two weeks before she herself succumbed to cancer in November 2013, at the age of 76.

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