Salt Houses

by Hala Alyan | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1328915859 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingMmeClintonwing of South Berwick, Maine USA on 10/22/2018
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingMmeClintonwing from South Berwick, Maine USA on Monday, October 22, 2018
And one more book to add to the list...So one day after I returned from Bermuda, I had the Music Hall book group meeting for October, and the selection was Salt Houses by Hala Alyan. Lots of good discussion over this one. The novel covers several generations of Salma and Hussam, Palestinians evicted from their ancestral home with the advent of Israel. This novel is not particularly political, certainly not a rabid denunciation in this fraught part of middle East history... it is more the picture of four generations of exiles and how displacement as well as reality forms different people. Although the novel is chronological, Alyan doesn't creep through every year and decade. Instead, she creates mini-scenarios with different members of the family as the main focus (reminds me a bit of Balzac...) and yet memories and traditions cement them all together. I rather liked the format. Unlike many Palestinians of whom we read today, those who were too poor to emigrate elsewhere and at least have a life of some comfort, this family had the wealth to not be destitute, even though later generations found themselves caught up in other wars, in Kuwait or Beirut, for example. Manar, who is in the youngest generation, muses much about history, that in books and that experienced by her own family: "It fascinates Manar--not just history in general, with its empires, collapses, and revivals, but also the faint persistent echoes that seem to travel through the millenia. Land eaten and reshuffled, homes taken--daughters and sons speaking enemy languages, forgetting their own--the belief that we are owed something by the cosmos." Which of course, we are not owed, so how do we live our lives in the spirit of gentleness and acceptance even when difficult things overwhelm us?

Journal Entry 2 by wingMmeClintonwing at When Pigs Fly Company Store and PIzzeria in Kittery, Maine USA on Monday, October 22, 2018

Released 3 mos ago (10/24/2018 UTC) at When Pigs Fly Company Store and PIzzeria in Kittery, Maine USA


on the bench near the entrances

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