By Karen Billing
Area resident Dan Peled recently had his third book published, a historical fiction novel "Naomi's Quest." A reception and book signing will be held at the Carmel Valley Library on Nov. 10 at 6 p.m.
The novel tells the story of Meir Shalev, who goes to Nazi Germany to rescue the children of two prominent Jewish families at the close of the Holocaust. The story of the surviving children is told, weaving through events such as the 1947-49 Arab-Israeli War of Independence, the Six Day War in 1967 and the Yom Kippur War in 1973.
While historical events provide the backdrop, the book is also about relationships, a man torn between two women and Naomi, a New York artist years later attempting to "hold her family together in the face of the revelation of long-buried secrets."
The book is Peled's third to be published, although it is his first piece of historical fiction.
"I love history and I did a lot of research for this book," said Peled, noting "The Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett inspired him, a novel that also weaves a story through real events.
Peled has military history of his own to draw on in writing his books. His father served in the British army during World War II and Peled served in the Israeli army's special forces.
After completing his military service, Peled came to America in 1962 and studied structural engineering. He worked as an engineer and went into construction management, eventually becoming senior vice president of an international construction company in New York.
Peled moved to San Diego in 1991, founding his own company, Peled Consultants and Construction, based in Carmel Valley.
Throughout his youth, Peled had always penned short stories but didn't pick writing up again until the late 1980s. He finished his first novel in 1987 and his second in 1992. By 2002, he had written 14 novels, fiction works covering topics such as anthrax terrorism in "Checkmate" and a Holocaust drama in "The Selling of Joseph."
Peled said he is very proud of "Naomi's Quest," which he thinks would also make a good movie some day.
"I invested a lot of my soul into that book," Peled said.
The book is available at Barnes and Noble, Borders, Amazon.com, the iUniverse online book store and copies will be available at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla. Books will also be available at the library event on Nov. 6-Peled will give a lecture and sign books.
The Carmel Valley Library is located at 3919 Townsgate Drive in Carmel Valley, directly behind the Del Mar Highlands Shopping Plaza.