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A Country Between: Making a Home Where Both Sides of Jerusalem Collide Paperback – February 7, 2017
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"Thoughtful, candid and achingly lovely, A Country Between celebrates the moments of beauty and truth that appear even--or especially--in broken and hard places, bringing light and healing in unexpected ways.
" - Shelf Awareness for Readers, STARRED review
"Saldaña builds an impressive sense of genuine emotion, and she vividly explores the array of life in that seething section of Jerusalem...a serene memoir in which the author takes valuable time to regard the character of the Palestinian people and their way of life. " - Kirkus-STARRED review
""This fascinating book captures the reality of living in colliding worlds...Saldana's observations about the realities of marriage, motherhood, and aging...offer the sense of having had a uplifting conversation with a thoughtful soul. Rather than attempting to answer political questions about the region, Saldana shares a curious kind of hope by showing how life goes on no matter the circumstances... readers gain a deeper understanding of love and faith."
" - Booklist, STARRED review
"This candid, tenderly rendered love story begins in a Syrian monastery, where Saldaña (Bread of Angels), a Texas-born journalist, falls for Frédéric, a French novice monk...Saldaña describes in wonderful detail how, as their family expands, they stay in a place where so little makes sense, guided solely by their hope in the future." - Publishers Weekly
"If an angel were to write a book, this would be it. Stephanie Saldana's memoir of her years as a young bride and new mother on Jerusalem's Nablus Road is infused with grace, rich in wisdom. With her French husband, a former novice monk, she makes a home on one of the fault lines where the lives of Israelis and Palestinians, Jews, Muslims and Christians sometimes mesh, but often collide. A Country Between reminds us that grief is as indispensable to joy as light is to shadow. Beautifully written, ardent and wise.
" - Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Secret Chord, People of the Book, and March
"A book you can't put down. This is a gift of sweetness and light in a troubled time." - Julia Alvarez, bestselling author of In the Time of Butterflies and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents
"Stephanie Saldana's astonishing gifts of perception and potent description make A Country Between feel like the country we would all prefer to live in. These elegant pages, replete with mystery, surprise, secret messages tucked inside every day, and the tender love of parents for one another and for the precious children they nurture and educate in Jerusalem, a most difficult, crucially beloved city, make us homesick for something better." - Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Habibi
"A testament to the couple's full embrace of peace and a commitment to living the lives they chose together...this book about hope in uncertain times reads especially poignantly for anyone looking darkly at the future.
" - Library Journal
"When we read or see TV reports about conflict in the Middle East, we would do well to remember that real people with real hopes and dreams are in many ways at the center of the story...there also are families like Stephanie Saldaña's, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim or something else. And this book makes those families much more understandable." - Bill's "Faith Matters" Blog
"The writing of the book is gorgeous. There is the travel aspect of the book certainly but there is also a very personal family-oriented bend to the book. " - A Bookish Affair
"Saldana's writing is gorgeous; it is clear she is a poet. In one short letter to Joseph, she says that on Nablus Road they "stroll[ed] through love and languages." A COUNTRY BETWEEN is such a stroll, through love, language, worlds, religions, and family life. " - Great New Books
About the Author
Stephanie Saldaña grew up in Texas and received a BA from Middlebury College and a master's degree from Harvard Divinity School. She was a Watson and Fulbright scholar and has won several awards for her poetry. Stephanie is also the author of The Bread of Angels: A Journey to Love and Faith.
Justine Eyre is a classically trained actress who has narrated over three hundred audiobooks. With a prestigious Audie Award and four AudioFile Earphones Awards under her belt, Justine is multilingual and is known for her great facility with accents. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top customer reviews
The author Stephanie, meets her to be husband Frédéric who was in his third and final year as a novitiate soon to become a monk at The Syrian desert monastery Deir Mar Musa, north of Damascus. I have not read the first part of this memoir, which I must do soon, to learn more about their relationship.
The Country Between, takes place when they move out of Syria and are trying to find out where they should live. They end up on Jerusalem's Nablus Road, a fascinating place with a lot of history.
The author writes beautifully, and in a very lyrical way. Her descriptions of places, the people, even the view from their window, of birds and trees created wonderful pictures in my mind, ones that even though I may never go there, I will feel that I have seen.
There are a lot of messages we can take from the authors life and perceptions of it, like hope, forgiveness, strength and the beauty of life as we see it and also in its hardships.
This is a wonderful look at a family being formed, and of families being there for one another throughout ones life, and the closeness and sacrifices they endure for one another..
I cannot wait, to read The Bread of Angels: A Journey to Love and Faith, and I really hope that she will continue on with her families story.
Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read this before its release.
A Country Between is the true story of a woman who set out to be a nun who met a monk-in-training and fell in love. The book is written like a letter from a mother to her child.
The author began writing the book when she found out she was pregnant with her first child. She wrote a series of letters to the child in a notebook to be given to the child when he grew older and could understand a little more about where he came from and the story of his early life.
The readers will be taken on a journey through the war-torn Middle East as the author and her husband struggle to find their place in the world.
This book is well written and easy to read. The reader may well begin to feel like they are a part of this tiny family just like this tiny family became a part of a bigger family when they moved into an old monastery.
If one is looking to learn a little more about life where cultures come together, this book may help. We have worked for families from the general area and have learned that it is a very important thing for friends and relatives to come and visit the baby at home soon after the baby is born. One sees that in this story as well.
On a scale of one to five, we would rate this book as a five. However, if the author is seeking to make a statement or teach a lesson, it might be lost in the story. There are some lessons that the author learns along the way that may be inspirational to the reader.