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Daughters (A historical family saga) [Kindle Edition]

Consuelo Saah Baehr
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (301 customer reviews)

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Book Description

“Engrossing…the story Baehr tells touches so deeply one is tempted to reread each page.” Chicago Tribune

"No fiction that I have read has illuminated the nation that was Palestine through the medium of the family saga … as does this absorbing novel. Like a landscape painter, Baehr skillfully paints the background and it becomes a palpable experience. I for one long to know what has happened to the village and its families in the last forty years." Washington Post Book World

"Daughters is a big book in every sense ; a long, richly textured novel filled with wonderful characters and an extraordinary sense of historical detail. Consuelo Saah Baehr has written a blockbuster with a heart.” Susan Isaacs, author of Almost Paradise and Shining Through.

“A tapestry of complex fully-developed characters whose lives are filled with challenges and struggles.” Chicago Sun Times

“Sweeping, uncommonly stirring!”
Publishers Weekly

From the one room dwellings of a tiny village near Jerusalem to the elegant town houses of Georgetown; from a world steeped in ancient traditions to a world of independent women comes this multi-layered novel of the lives, loves, secrets and strivings of three generations of Palestinian Christian women.

Miriam Mishwe is born into a world that hasn’t changed for centuries – rural Palestine in the last years of the 19th century. She marries a man chosen by her family but the world she sees as unchangeable is on the verge of upheaval.

Nadia is Miriam’s daughter. Sent to a local British school, she adopts many modern ideas but is not ready to renounce her heritage. It is Nadia’s child, Nijmeh, who looks to the west and calls herself by her English name, Star, when she goes to live in America. There she faces problems unknown in her childhood world of brooding hills and desert and brilliant skies.

Daughters is an unforgettable novel about courage, love and hope; and about two worlds – one ancient, one modern – and the extraordinary women who bridge them.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this sweeping, uncommonly stirring narrative spanning 1883 to 1957, Baehr chronicles the lives of three Palestinian Christian womenMiriam Mishwe, her daughter Nadia and Nadia's adopted child, Nijmeheach fated to struggle with the competing claims of loyalty to family and love for a man. Growing up in the Palestinian village of Tamleh, near Jerusalem, Miriam submits to an arranged marriage with her cousin, Nadeem. Though her feelings for him deepen, he is conscripted by the Turks, and in his absence Miriam becomes passionately involved with Max Broder, a German physician whom she reluctantly leaves when Nadeem returns, badly injured. Miriam bears Max's child, Nadia, who also grows up to fall in love with a foreigner, but their romance, in turn, is thwarted by Miriam's vehement disapproval. The cycle continues with the orphaned Nijmeh, rescued from a plane wreck by Nadia, but Nadia's interference in her daughter's life results in terrible upheaval and tragedy. Of Palestinian Christian descent herself, Baehr writes grippingly of the clash between 20th century values and the traditions of a proud, ancient land.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

A small Christian village outside of Jerusalem provides the backdrop for this novel about three generations of Arab women. The story begins at the turn of the century with the marriage of Miriam Mishwe to Nadeem, a man chosen by her family. Though they are happy together, during World War I Miriam has a poignant love affair with a German doctor. Nadia, the product of their union, is willful, questioning the old ways, but nonetheless follows tradition by marrying a sheik's son. Their daughter Nijmeh is sweet and kind, bringing her parents great joy, but she is not as lucky as Nadia in love; her marriage, though a brilliant match, is loveless. Engaging and well written, this novel effectively portrays the importance of family and the conflict of cultures in the Middle East. Maria A. Perez-Stable, Western Michigan Univ. Libs., Kalamazoo
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 829 KB
  • Print Length: 722 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 147782619X
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Consuelo S. Baehr; Fifth Edition edition (August 28, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0041844C2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,146 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read! November 26, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This is the first review I've written. My wife was reading this book and kept raving about it, so I read it when she was done. I liked it so much that, here I am, writing my first review. The novel tracks the lives of three generations of very unusual daughters as they each stretch the boundaries of their traditional mid-eastern culture. It all takes place from the late 19th century to the second half of the 20thC. The most interesting part of this fascinating cross-cultural book was how romance for each of the three women creates chaos. The descriptions of their lives and how they make their way through their challenges was so realistic I felt like was there. The only thing missing in this amazing tale was more of it. Surely the author can find a treasure trove of material for a sequel picking up with the third and fourth generation daughters in the middle of the partition of Palestine and postwar America. I hope so.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Daughters May 9, 2000
By A Customer
A wonderfully written family saga covering the lives of 3 generations of "Daughters". This book is centered in Palestine starting in 1881 and ending in the 1950's. The characters are well developed and very complex. It is amazing how easily the author has you flow from 1 main character to the next. As you journey with Miriam, Nadia, and Nijmeh from childhood to adulthood and then into motherhood, you really feel their joys and sorrows. They become so real! A wonderful read for anyone.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I didn't want it to end. February 19, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this book. I will not try to summerize it (that's already been done), but will only say it was a long book, and I didn't want it to end. The characters were so real, I often thought about them when I wasn't reading. I can't wait to read more by this author.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mothers and Daughters.... February 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Daughters is a very interesting read with lots of historical information embedded in the storyline. The tension between three generations of mothers and daughters is palpable - then the agony and worry of those very daughters over their own daughters creates a riveting story. The story begins with the first daughter - then as her story is developed - the next daughter's story is written. It is a story of romance - enduring love, commitment to family, etc. I was very surprised by the graphic nature of the intimate scenes in the book. There was definitely a huge focus on the sexuality of the the point that at times it was extraneous to the story and even detracted from the plot.

Overall, I enjoyed reading the novel. The characters were well developed. The middle eastern culture was very interesting. I would have given this five stars had it not been for the graphic nature of the intimate scenes. If you do not mind that type of reading, you may enjoy this book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable October 16, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Just finished Consuelo Saah Baehr's Daughters. One of the most rewarding reads I've had in a long time. Luscious descriptions, unforgettable characters, and superbly researched data make this tale of a family over several generations something I couldn't put down. I'm recommending it to my book group.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and Memorable February 18, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Daughters is brilliantly written and satisfies on so many levels. The setting, a Christian Palestinian village, is depicted in vivid detail that rings true: the people, the village, the traditions, are all brought to life. The novel spans a number of years from early in the 20th Century up almost to modern times. The world events from the respective eras covered in the story are realistically depicted and make a fascinating backdrop in the lives of the characters. Although told from multiple points of view by a number of different characters, three women are the focus of the book. They are Miriam, her daughter Nadia, and Nadia's daughter, Nijmeh. Each struggles to find love and happiness while still dealing with ancient traditions and the wishes of their families.

The characters, even the minor ones, are well-drawn and deep. I felt their joy as they found love and I cried with them over their losses. I found myself thinking of the story throughout the day, even when I wasn't reading. Though this is a long book, I loved the characters so much I didn't want it to end.

I can't say enough about how good this book is. Highly recommended.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not impressed August 24, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book started out great as historical and cultural fiction. I had such hopes for a great read based on the reviews. About half way through it became a bodice ripping soap opera. It lost all it's charm. I finished it - but would never recommend it.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too sexual June 20, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was reading along in this book having no idea that I'd hit a point in the book where suddenly the story line went steamy. If I wanted that kind of book, I would pick up one of those trashy novels at the grocery store. I expected to be educated in history and the culture but got educated in a different way. I deleted it from my Kindle books.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the read if you like sagas.
I love sagas like this that go from generation to generation. This one kept my interest the whole time and wove the story through wonderfully developed characters. Read more
Published 3 days ago by CB
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Liked reading the book.Well Written
Published 5 days ago by Col Handa
4.0 out of 5 stars nice easy story, even with the sad parts.
Recommended for summer reading. Good to read a story where characters win and lose and win again. Heartening that redemption is there.
Published 8 days ago by Anna
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
So good that I looked for a sequel. I will read more of her books. Pat
Published 15 days ago by patti page
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
The book started with a very interesting story line but later became less engrossing.
Published 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars I haven't finished it yet so don't feel comfortable giving it a final...
Historical fiction following several generations of one family in a land and culture we know so little about is an eye-opener. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Granny Maynard
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great story. Worth a read.
Published 23 days ago by Linda Mayberry
3.0 out of 5 stars The first half of the book is great, but the second half gets overly...
This is an interesting book that follows three generations of daughters. The first half of the book is great, but the second half gets overly interested in their sex lives. Read more
Published 1 month ago by FearNot23
4.0 out of 5 stars I love the inclusion of the daughter in each generation
I love the inclusion of the daughter in each generation, that continues on and on. And the cultural influences along the way.
Published 1 month ago by Diane J Lindley
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
I enjoyed this book and found the story line to be realistic and interesting. In the early part of the book I found myself lost in a kind of "whos' who" in the characters;... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gordon
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More About the Author

Consuelo Saah Baehr was born in El Salvador to French/Palestinian parents. At age five she joined her father and five uncles in Washington, D.C. where they ran the prestigious boutique department store, Jean Matou, a favorite of Bess Truman and Jackie Kennedy. Convent boarding schools came next and George Washington University. After college she began writing advertising copy for the Macy Corp. Marriage and three children followed and the writing was silent until a stunning Op-Ed piece in The New York Times brought a flurry of offers from book publishers. The result was the personal memoir, Report From The Heart (Simon & Schuster). Four novels followed: Best Friends (Delacorte/Dell); Nothing To Lose (Putnam's); Daughters (Delacorte/Dell) and 100 Open Houses soon to be a Kindle original.
Daughters, a historical family saga set in pre-war Jerusalem, has been translated into 15 languages. It was published as a Kindle book in late August.

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