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The Confusion of Languages by [Fallon, Siobhan]
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The Confusion of Languages Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Length: 333 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


"Fallon’s storytelling approach is clever . . . . The Confusion of Languages explores friendships, parenting, and the civilian/military divide. That last issue makes the novel most relevant to readers. The more we can shrink the yawning chasm between families’ experiences, the better for us all." The Washington Post

“An incisive examination of friendship and betrayal and a skillful mingling of cultural and domestic themes.”Booklist (starred review)

“A gripping, cleverly plotted novel with surprising bite. Fallon carefully builds the cloistered world of two Army spouses living in the Middle East during the Arab Spring, a world whose edges and limitations we only start to glimpse as the two women spiral toward tragedy.”—Phil Klay, National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author of Redeployment

“Mesmerizing and devastating. I found myself ignoring everything but the countdown of Jordanian hours and the unraveling mystery central to Fallon's unforgettable novel, in which two military wives must explore a modern-day, cultural labyrinth. An insatiable read that will leave you breathless.”Sarah McCoy, New York Times and international bestselling author of The Mapmaker's Children

“[T]hese women...are honest and well-formed characters, and Fallon strenuously avoids pat answers to the central question of how a woman should behave in a foreign land. Page-turning and rich in detail, this is a solid, insightful debut.”Kirkus Reviews

“With a studied look at the thin line outsiders must walk, whether in someone else's country or someone else's living room, Fallon digs into the complications of friendship....Cerebral but still taut with suspense as Cassie unravels her friend's fate, this novel's sophisticated pacing and emotional core set it apart from the pack.”ShelfAwareness

"Touching. . . . A moving work about desire and the dislo­cation one might experience in a foreign land." —BookPage

“Fallon's novel has the irresistible force of a whirlpool: it sucks you in, pulling you ever closer to the mystery at the heart of the vortex. As the two narratives of friends Margaret and Cassie overlap and begin to merge, the pages turn faster and faster. The Confusion of Languages is intricately plotted, perfectly paced, and impossible to put down.”David Abrams, award-winning author of Fobbit

“This gripping novel tells a tale about jealousy, friendship, and secrets among U.S. expats during the beginnings of the Arab Spring.”Southern Living


“Compelling....A page-turning story.”Woodbury Magazine

“The Confusion of Languages peels back layer after layer of friendship, motherhood, and the confusions of love and marriage. Siobhan Fallon deftly illuminates the lives of two very different military spouses whose husbands are attached to the US Embassy in Jordan. After the men deploy, cultural differences and language issues crash into each other with disastrous effect. Margaret, new to Jordan, cannot recognize that her own hubris and what she believes to be kindness have the power to destroy lives. This gripping personal tale of a friendship gone wrong brings our larger political blunders, blindness, and naiveté in the Middle East to light.”Laura Harrington, bestselling author of Alice Bliss

“I love Siobhan Fallon’s writing about military families. It’s a world that may be unfamiliar to civilians, but Fallon delivers it brilliantly, charting its strict hierarchies, emotional complexities and fierce loyalties. Her new novel, A Confusion of Languages, chronicles a collision between two couples deployed in Jordan, raising questions of cultural sensitivity, social obligations, and military responsibilities, as well as the fundamental ones about the bonds of marriage. Fallon has a strong, lucid voice, and she explores these marital/military partnerships with the intelligence and deep compassion they deserve.”Roxana Robinson, author of Sparta 

"Once I started reading this novel, I did not want to put it down. The Confusion of Languages is both a page-turning mystery and a riveting character study in the vein of Henry James or Patricia Highsmith. Tense, intriguing, smart, witty, set in an exotic locale, and full of barbed insights into the nature of friendship and marriage, Siobhan Fallon's newest novel is as entertaining as it is insightful. Book clubs will find endless fodder for debate and speculation. The moment I finished, I wanted to run to my friends and talk about this book all night.”Andria Williams, author of The Longest Night

“As she did in her wonderful first collection You Know When the Men Are Gone, Siobhan Fallon has given us a moving, heartbreaking, and utterly believable account – not of the great events of our times, but of the great human dramas acted out in private on the periphery of those events. You can read The Confusion of Languages as a portrait of intimate and interlocking relationships in a remote diplomatic outpost, or as a parable for America’s adventures in the Middle East. Either way, Fallon’s ability to see into the living rooms, kitchens, and bars of Americans buffeted by their country’s wars makes her one of the most important observers of the American present.”—Matti Friedman, author of Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story

“[E]xcellent...dramatize[s] deeply-seated concerns connected to the downward spiral of America's frazzled empire....[D]awning on the reader with the force of epiphany is the realization that Americans are having a lot of trouble dealing with problems that being American ha[s] brought on.”Time Now

“The story of two women caught up in the Arab spring, American outsiders in a crisis they try to grasp, neither sequestered nor free themselves.  In their official quarters an intense domestic life goes on, fierce with competing desires and rife with dangerous misreadings and mistakes.  A book both bitter and tender, with the unlike hearts of two driven young women beating in it.”Valerie Trueblood, author of Criminals: Love Stories

“Fallon is a novelist of transcendent compassion, a vibrant and poetic talent. In a tour de force of the human heart she lays bare the soul with such devastation and love we go where she leads us, breathless and grateful. Below our greatest personal ills may lie the seeds not only of international discord and grave alienation, but also intimacy, forgiveness and restoration. A miracle of ultimate choices, The Confusion of Languages shapes global consciousness and gives us what great novels give...the courage to face our deepest sorrows and the grace to overcome.”—Shann Ray, American Book Award-winning author of American Copper and Balefire

“A beautifully written novel about our struggle to find a common language even when we speak the same tongue. Once I started reading about these two very different women thrown together in the insular world of the U.S. Embassy in Jordan, I couldn’t stop. Evocative of the film Babel, The Confusion of Languages is layered, rich with meaning, and compelling right up to a final sentence so right and perfect that it resonates long after closing the book.”—Elizabeth Marro, author of Casualties

The Confusion of Languages, Siobhan Fallon’s gorgeous new novel about two very different American women navigating life in the Middle East, is so gripping, poignant, and above all relevant, I couldn’t put it down. Fallon writes with authority and grace, and her characters are so compelling and complex; along with the sights, sounds, and smells of Jordan she so expertly conjures, the men and women of The Confusion of Languages stayed with me long after I closed the book.”—Emily Jeanne Miller, author of The News from the End of the World

Praise for You Know When the Men Are Gone

“Straight-up, no-nonsense stories about American soldiers and their families...simple, tough, and true.”—The New York Times

“Poignant...prose that’s brave and honest.”—People

“The explosive sort of literary triumph that appears only every few years. As such, it should not be missed.”—New York Journal of Books

About the Author

Siobhan Fallon  is the author of You Know When the Men Are Gone, which won the PEN Center USA Literary Award in Fiction, the Indies Choice Honor Award, and the Texas Institute of Letters Award for First Fiction. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post Magazine, Woman’s Day, Good Housekeeping, Military Spouse, The Huffington Post, and NPR’s Morning Edition, among others. She and her family moved to Jordan in 2011, and they currently live in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Product details

  • File Size: 2760 KB
  • Print Length: 333 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0399158928
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (June 27, 2017)
  • Publication Date: June 27, 2017
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01M7R32BW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,150 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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