It is 2002, year of the second Intifada. Sarah, a Jewish girl of Polish origins born and brought up in New York, has gone to live in Israel following the 9/11 attacks. Leila is Palestinian, born and brought up in a refugee camp. They are both seventeen.
Leila and Sarah's voices at first echo each other, describing ordinary everyday situations – daydreaming at a window, a change of season, a song – in a symmetrical reflection of their common experience. Then the voices separate, each tells her own story and memories. Finally, they mirror each other, page by page, as Sarah and Leila walk towards each other through the streets of Jerusalem.
Partages (which in French means both what is shared and what divides) is a novel about community and separation, about both the incommensurability of different histories and two haunted memories. Sarah and Leila are at once twins and enemies, two Antigones struggling against tragedy.
Gwenaëlle Aubry's most recent novels include No One (Tin House, 2012, original version Personne, Mercure de France, 2009, winner of the Prix Femina 2009, new edition Gallimard “Folio” series, 2011); Notre vie s'use en transfigurations, Actes Sud “Un endroit où aller” series, 2007; L’Isolement, Stock, 2003; L'Isolée, Stock 2002 (new edition Gallimard "Folio"series, 2011).