The Blue Between Sky and Water Summary and Reviews

The Blue Between Sky and Water

by Susan Abulhawa

The Blue Between Sky and Water by Susan Abulhawa
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2015
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Internationally bestselling author Susan Abulhawa's powerful new novel explores the legacy of dispossession across continents and generations.

In the small Palestinian farming village of Beit Daras, the women of the Baraka family inspire awe. Nazmiyeh is brazen and fiercely protective of her clairvoyant little sister, Mariam, with her mismatched eyes, and of their mother, Um Mahmoud, known for the fearsome djinni that sometimes possesses her. When the family is forced by the newly formed State of Israel to leave their ancestral home, only Nazmiyeh and her brother survive the long road to Gaza. Amidst the violence and fragility of the refugee camp, Nazmiyeh builds a family, navigates crises, and nurtures what remains of Beit Daras's community. But her brother continues his exile's journey to America, where, upon his death, his granddaughter Nur grows up alone, in a different kind of exile, the longing for family and roots eventually beckoning her to Gaza.

With devastatingly clear-eyed vision of political and personal trauma, The Blue Between Sky and Water is the story of flawed yet profoundly courageous women, of separation and heartache, endurance and renewal.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Relevant and insightful ... Beautiful and heartfelt, this precise, vividly written novel is an inspiring choice for discussion groups." - Library Journal

"While a folk tale-like spirituality infuses the storytelling, readers' enjoyment will mostly depend on how they react to Abulhawa's violently anti-Israel and slightly milder anti-American perspectives." - Kirkus

"Suffused with mystery, pain, and love ... Abulhawa's characters' lives vividly depict resiliency in the face of adversity." - Publishers Weekly

"Gripping and deeply moving ...Abulhawa's prose is luminous; her control of a complex weaving of narrative voices - young and old, male and female, magical and real - is masterful ... Hers is a voice that returns to the world the stories of Palestine that we ignore at our peril." - The Independent (UK)

"Magical ... The way the story is told is haunting. It pulls you in and you want to never emerge." - Asian Age (India)

"This captivating familial story weaves archetypal characters, shapeshifting through time with enviable fluidity ... When you reach the end, the story continues in imagination through hope, possibility, rejuvenation." - Mondoweiss

"The story Susan Abulhawa tells in this marvelous novel is hard to bear but impossible to ignore. Her vision is precise, courageous, and dazzling." - Teju Cole

"A family saga with global reach, these stories of fortune tellers, fighters, little girls and old women, jump off the page and into the soul and reach far beyond any headline or statistic, past the head, to the heart." - Laleh Khadivi, author of The Age of Orphans and The Walking

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Susan Abulhawa was born to Palestinian refugees of the 1967 war. Currently living in Pennsylvania with her daughter, she is a human rights activist and frequent political commentator. She is the founder of Playgrounds for Palestine, an organization dedicated to upholding Palestinian children's Right to Play. Her first novel, Mornings in Jenin, was an international bestseller, with rights sold in twenty-six languages.

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