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Salt Houses


From a dazzling new literary voice, a debut novel about a Palestinian family...
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Discuss Salt Houses by Hala Alyan:
In what ways are Alia and Souad alike? Did you find their relationship to be believable, as a mother and daughter?

Created: 05/25/18

Replies: 11

Posted May. 25, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1626

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In what ways are Alia and Souad alike? Did you find their relationship to be believable, as a mother and daughter?

On page 132, Alia overhears her husband Atef say, of Alia and her daughter Souad, "I've never seen two people more alike." In what ways are Alia and Souad alike? Did you find their relationship to be believable, as a mother and daughter?


Posted Jun. 03, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 179

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RE: In what ways are Alia and Souad alike? Did you find their relationship to be believable, as a mother and daughter?

they were both wrapped up in their own worlds, putting themselves first. They weren't concerned much about others. Neither were good mothers when it came to nurturing their children. They were headstrong and argumentative. I think they usually put themselves first. Yes, I think the relationship was believable. When two people share so many unpleasant traits, there is bound to be friction. I do think there was also love there, but it was hard for them to demonstrate it openly.


Posted Jun. 04, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

Posts: 165

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RE: In what ways are Alia and Souad alike? Did you find their relationship to be believable, as a mother and daughter?

It was believable but sad they were never able to connect at a deeper level. Probably just too alike.


Posted Jun. 05, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 312

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RE: In what ways are Alia and Souad alike? Did you find their relationship to be believable, as a mother and daughter?

They were very much alike. Unfortunately they were both very self involved. I found it difficult to believe that Souad would go to the extreme of deliberately doing things that would annoy her mother. She looked for ways to upset her, perhaps because Alia was so involved in herself, that Souad had to find ways to get her attention. The whole family seemed dysfunctional.


Posted Jun. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolf

Join Date: 07/10/14

Posts: 34

RE: In what ways are Alia and Souad alike? Did you find their relationship to be believable, as a mother and daughter?

Alia and Souad are both fiercely independent. They are not afraid to go against traditions and, in fact, seem to relish the daring involved in doing so. Their relationship is very believable. When two people are similar it does not mean that they necessarily get along, and can often be quite the opposite. I think this especially true of a mother and daughter.


Posted Jun. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 259

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RE: In what ways are Alia and Souad alike? Did you find their relationship to be believable, as a mother and daughter?

I agree with Carol, they were both strong, independent women, rebels in a way against the constraints their faith put upon them as women. I don't think they were bad mothers or more self-centered than other characters -- just wanted more for themselves than only motherhood, more outspoken and also, more inclined to be critical of themselves as well. Alia recognized herself in her daughter and Souad had the same experience later on... they were too much alike. Very believable!


Posted Jun. 08, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulagb

Join Date: 08/16/17

Posts: 40

RE: In what ways are Alia and Souad alike? Did you find their relationship to be believable, as a mother and daughter?

A believable mother daughter relationship that highlights how likeness can make for difficult day to day contact. Their fierce independence is emphasized by the changes in location and home at critical times in each of their lives. This mother daughter relationship is probably more common than a lovey dovey relationship somedtimes portrayed in novels.


Posted Jun. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 97

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RE: In what ways are Alia and Souad alike? Did you find their relationship to be believable, as a mother and daughter?

Yes I found them believable. Again - like mother, like daughter. Mother daughter relationships run the gamut from lovey-dovey to total hate and everywhere in between. Often strong women do not get along and when you put family into the mix it can become even more escalated because they know how to push each others buttons. It takes a special finesse for like-women to get along and the want needs to be on both sides.


Posted Jun. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 277

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RE: In what ways are Alia and Souad alike? Did you find their relationship to be believable, as a mother and daughter?

Believable and typical of lots of mother-daughter relationships.


Posted Jun. 14, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
judyw

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 44

RE: In what ways are Alia and Souad alike? Did you find their relationship to be believable, as a mother and daughter?

Several responses have echoed my thoughts about this mother-daughter relationship. It is very believable. All too often mothers and daughters are at odds with one another. Usually this is a result of similar , headstrong personalities. I was very fortunate to have a wonderful, loving relationship with my mother and am always amazed to learn I seem to be in the minority!


Posted Jun. 15, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
louisee

Join Date: 06/29/15

Posts: 93

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RE: In what ways are Alia and Souad alike? Did you find their relationship to be believable, as a mother and daughter?

I also agree that Alia and Souad were very much alike, both head strong. Souad intentionally upsetting her mother as a teen and young adult seemed realistic and not surprising. However when mother and daughter didn't find a way to get along as adults I was surprised. I expected Souad to grow up and begin to understand her mother and figure out a way to get along.


Posted Jun. 20, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BarbaraLynn

Join Date: 06/16/18

Posts: 7

RE: In what ways are Alia and Souad alike? Did you find their relationship to be believable, as a mother and daughter?

I did find Alia and Souad to be alike, and this is one of the reasons why their relationship and their clashes seemed believable. Others have said that both were headstrong and independent. I agree, and would suggest that they appear so because they wanted to control their lives at a time and place where other women, like Riham and Widad chose a more traditional path. In order to take control of their own lives, Alia and Souad put their ideas and values ahead of those of their parents, spouses, and/or siblings. Alia becomes frustrated with Souad, however, when Alia cannot control, or at least influence, her daughter's decisions. Souad makes her own decisions about who to marry and where to live, just as Alia did, but instead of recognizing and praising her daughter's independence, it causes conflict in their relationship. Perhaps for Alia it isn't just about her own independence, but also being the dominant and controlling force in the family.


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