31 Hours: Book summary and reviews of 31 Hours by Masha Hamilton

31 Hours
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2009
    240 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"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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Author Information

Masha Hamilton Author Biography

Masha Hamilton is a United States journalist and the author of five novels. She founded two world literacy projects and has worked as head of communications for the US Embassy in Afghanistan and the NGO Concern Worldwide US.

She worked as a foreign correspondent for The Associated Press for five years in the Middle East, where she covered the intefadeh, the peace process and the partial Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon. Then she spent five years in Moscow, where she was a correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, wrote a newspaper column, Postcard from Moscow, and reported for NBC/Mutual Radio. She wrote about Kremlin politics as well as life for average Russians under Gorbachev and Yeltsin during the coup and collapse of the Soviet Union. She reported from Afghanistan in 2004, and returned...

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