A woman in New York awakens knowing, as deeply as a mother's blood can know, that her grown son is in danger. She has not heard from him in weeks. His name is Jonas. His girlfriend, Vic, doesn't know what she has done wrong, but Jonas won't answer his cell phone. We soon learn that Jonas is isolated in a safe-house apartment in New York City, pondering his conversion to Islam and his experiences training in Pakistan, preparing for the violent action he has been instructed to take in 31 hours.
Jonas's absence from the lives of those who love him causes a cascade of events, and as the novel moves through the streets and subways of New York we come to know intimately the lives of its characters. We also learn to feel deeply the connections and disconnections that occur between young people and their parents not only in this country but in the Middle East as well.
Carried by Hamilton's highly-lauded prose, this story about the helplessness of those who cannot contact a beloved young man who is on a devastatingly confused path is compelling on the most human level.
"It's a very tense narrative, vividly imagined and eerily plausible." - Publishers Weekly
"Hamilton's novel raises many thought-provoking questions, which makes it a strong choice for book clubs and for readers who enjoy character-driven fiction with contemporary political relevance." - Library Journal
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Masha Hamilton is the author of four acclaimed novels, most recently 31 Hours (2009), a Washington Post selection for one of the best novels of the year and an Indie Choice pick by independent booksellers. The Post wrote: "Hamilton has used both her considerable empathy as a writer and her experience in the Middle East to create an intimate portrait ... (She's) made it very hard to tear your gaze away." Publisher's Weekly called it "gorgeous and complex." Hamilton is also the founder of two world literacy programs: the Camel Book Drive, begun in 2007 to supply a camel-borne library in northeastern Kenya, and the Afghan Women's Writing Project, begun in 2009 to foster creative and intellectual exchange between Afghan women writers and American women authors and ...
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