This is one of the best debut novels I've read in a while! This lyrical book focuses on a Palestinian family through several generations from the 1960s to present day. With the Six Day War and other political and military upheavals as the backdrop, we witness parts of this family seek new lives from Nablus, Amman, Beirut, Kuwait City, Paris, and Boston. This isn't the story of a typical group of refugees - this family is fortunate enough to have good jobs, a lovely home, enough money, and even housekeepers. However, like anyone in such pressing circumstances, they are not immune from the conflicts surrounding them. ••
Moving from place to place makes this cast of characters question their identities, especially when they're not in their own "home" with like-minded people. Post 9/11, they face criticism for their Arab background, even the younger generations that have never been to Palestine. Despite the hardships, they survive and thrive as a family. This book shows that even if you are at odds with the world and sometimes even each other, you will always have the support of family. ••
I always enjoy multi-generational tales, and this was no exception. The lush prose made this story more engaging - it's clear that the author is also a published poet! My only critique is that sometimes the book felt a little choppy. Each chapter focuses on a specific character in a certain year, and the gaps between years is substantial for every chapter. A few times I wanted to know what happened after different events. For instance, a character had a big crush on a boy as a teenager, but in the next chapter, she's grown and married to somebody completely different. This is more my preferences than the fault of the book, but I wanted to know what happened to him and why things turned out the way we did. Although, I guess it's never a bad thing to want to find out more when it comes to a book.
Thank you to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the digital copy of this wonderful book!