Amazing family saga

filled star filled star filled star filled star filled star
katielovestoread95 Avatar


The Aspen Words longlisting of this novel gave me an extra push to go ahead and read it. I decided to start reading my copy a week early of the scheduled group reads (while being behind on two of the previous week’s reads 🤣).

While this is over 400 pages, it is an engrossing family saga that sucks you in quickly and is filled with surprises and family secrets. The main characters were all well fleshed out, with chapters getting to know each one intimately. This novel spans the present and forty years prior. The relationships between the three siblings (Ava, Mimi, and Naj) are complex, but it is also obvious that they all love each other very much. The part exploring the beginning of Mazna (the mother’s) relationship with Idris (the father) was an important part of the novel as well.

This novel is set in three countries - the United States, Lebanon, and Syria, with the bulk of the story being outside the US. I appreciated how the story delved into the legacy of the wars in those countries and these effects on those living there. There are parts of this book that are particularly heavy due to this, especially Zakaria’s story.

This was story was told masterfully and beautifully. I have not read Alyan’s previous novel, Salt Houses, but am definitely interested in checking it out now.