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Customer Review

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeously evocative, gut-wrenching, September 5, 2011
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This review is from: Mornings in Jenin: A Novel (Paperback)
I read this in a few sittings, couldn't put it down, and didn't want it to end. The description of Ein Hod was like a painting, lush and grand yet cozy and inviting, and unsparing in its realism of the difficulties and beauty of village life. When the villagers are expelled in the events of 1948, we feel as if it's our own family being torn from everything they know. When a young Amal tries to piece together a childhood out of deprivation and terror, we feel ourselves as children making the best out of incomprehensible surroundings.

And when the last shreds are stolen from her, well, we start to get an inkling of what it's like to be a Palestinian.

Despite the heaviness and hardship, the book really gets the beauty of Palestine across, and it's written very well, making it a page-turner. Toward the end, it starts putting everyone in the path of every tragedy, which makes it feel a little heavy-handed. Of course this degree of bad luck (and worse) is entirely plausible in the life of a Palestinian family. When I lived in Palestine for two and a half years, I saw a lot of this devastation first-hand. Still, I felt quite battered by the end and wished a better outcome for at least some of the characters.

Inshallah with works like this helping people understand and empathize with the reality in Palestine, perhaps the next generation will not be left to suffer so profoundly.
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