Ehrenreich is the author of two well-received novels and he brings a novelist’s eye to his subject, framing the bulk of his book around one village, Nabi Saleh, 30 miles north-west of Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and around a group of a few dozen protesters, most of them confusingly from the same extended Tamimi family ... It is in the author’s descriptions of the Tamimis that the hope, and the love, are to be found; the dedication day after day to an effort that yields only failure, sometimes arrest and injury, and even death; and the concern that the Tamimis share for each other, waiting outside detention centres and hospitals for news of a relative ... Mr Ehrenreich did not set out to write an objective book; he does not even think it is possible. This is simply a description, detailed and sometimes too much so, of what the facts on the ground look like if you are one of a particular group of Palestinians in the West Bank. It should be read by friends and foes of Israel alike.
...utterly heartbreaking ... Ehrenreich moves among them, visits their homes, shares their meals, and again and again in the course of the book seems surprised and touched by the quiet resolve, even the grace, with which they bear up under day-to-day circumstances that would very quickly drive most of this book's readers to complete despair ... The inhabitants of towns like 'Planet Hebron' face this kind of violence virtually every day, and Ehrenreich is a keen observer both of the ways this has deepened their family bonds and also the way it's sharpened the cynicism of everybody he meets ... For those ordinary people of the West Bank, whose lives Ben Ehrenreich has so sadly and wonderfully chronicled in The Way to the Spring, it means a further tightening of the noose, the light of a better future receding that much farther away.
...a sobering, iconoclastic 'collection of stories about resistance, and about people who resist,' marred slightly by the author’s unwillingness to subject Palestinian militant activity, which has often included terrorism, to moral scrutiny ... Those eager to dismiss Ehrenreich’s shocking anecdotes as selective would do well to take heed of the facts and figures that the author, like others before him, painstakingly cites to support his arguments ... There are a few problems with The Way to the Spring. All the resistance Ehrenreich documents in Nabi Saleh, Hebron and elsewhere is either nonviolent or potentially violent but in reality ineffectual (as with the youths throwing stones at heavily armed and armored soldiers). He acknowledges that Palestinians have resorted to violence and sometimes killed Israeli civilians, but he doesn’t linger on this issue or reveal his thoughts on the matter, despite the generally reflective nature of his writing ... These concerns aside, Ehrenreich deserves kudos for digging beneath the unsightly outer manifestations of the occupation to reveal its even uglier innards.