What I think is most valuable in the novel is the structure it follows. The initial flashback makes the reader wonder why is Blanca fleeing from, and we slowly learn as the flashbacks continue. I think that this was masterful from Appelfeld’s part and this really shows his skill as a storyteller.
Secondly, I think that the initial scene depicted is symbolic of the nature of the story; it Blanca is constantly departing from her original background. She marries an antisemite, gives up university because of him and ultimately has to flee from his abuse. Voyage is an important theme in the book, and Blanca almost always tragically finds herself isolated from the status quo and her own identity. I think this in some ways is allegorical to the struggle of a whole nation and Blanca’s story is not only her own tragedy but that of all that have suffered antisemitic oppression.