Incredible family saga

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This story unfolds in Beirut, Damascus, and the United States bouncing between the 1980s and present day. Idris, Manza, and their three adult children (Ava, Mimi, and Naj) are brought together by Idris’ desire to sell his childhood home in Beirut. With the family coming together, we learn about them as individuals and about their relationships to one another. Like any family, they have their secrets that we slowly learn about throughout the book. The large majority of the book takes place in the past, showing the events that led Manza and Idris to move to California. While this book is a work of fiction, the backdrop of Syria and Lebanon in the 1980s creates a story that seems very real. The historical nature of this book was very insightful. The author managed to pack a lot of history and insights into an incredible story.

As someone who prefers shorter books, this one was on the longer side for me (440 pages). Longer books tend to intimidate me, or I find myself zoning out during parts that I don’t find interesting. Alyan’s writing had me invested from the beginning and there was not one page that had me losing interest. This beautiful family saga tapped into so many emotions, it’s hard to sum it all up. As a music lover I really enjoyed Naj and Mimi’s storylines, though Manza is hands down my favorite character. I really hope this book gets a lot of buzz this year because I thought it was absolutely fantastic.