Excerpt from A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

A Land of Permanent Goodbyes

by Atia Abawi

A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi X
A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2018, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 22, 2019, 304 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Michelle Anya Anjirbag

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Excerpt
A Land of Permanent Goodbyes

Hours passed at the site of their bombed-out apartment building. Most of the survivors could do nothing but watch and weep as the corpses were lined up on the ground—bodies that included Tareq's grandmother and mother.

The moon shone bright as he lay between his mama and tehta. Holding their lifeless hands, Tareq tried breathing in his mother's scent one last time, but all he could smell was smoke and dust.

He squeezed her palm, ignoring the sirens that engulfed his neighborhood. Although limp, it was still the same hand that he had held as a timid child when stepping into crowded souks in search of spices and clothes. He stroked the elegant fingers that had caressed him gently, making him feel warm and safe. "I will be okay, Mama, please don't worry. I will take care of my little brothers and sisters just like you took care of us." He looked at her closed eyes with those perfectly arched brows and took in her beauty. Even dead, his mother looked peaceful and gracious. Tareq brought her delicate hand to his mouth, pressing it to his lips ever so gently. A kiss goodbye. A finality he didn't want to accept; no child ever does, no matter their age.

When he looked up, he was brought back into the current chaos, listening to the sounds of wails and the sirens. The man in the white helmet wasn't alone: There were many wearing the same uniform—they all had the same tan vests and tired eyes. Some helmets were brighter, others stained with the gloom of war, a thick layer of death and broken souls.

Tareq spotted the man who had pulled him out—Ahmed—marching forward, carrying something. His headlamp beamed in front of him, making it hard to see what was in his arms. It was when he got closer that Tareq recognized the long dark brown hair bouncing with Ahmed's every step.

"I'm sorry, habibi."

He handed Farrah's wilted body over to her big brother, who rocked the young girl in his arms as he kissed her round cheek. The tears falling from his face cleaned the dust from hers.

"I found her in the room next to where I found you." Ahmed quickly turned and walked away, unable to take the grief.

  • 1

Excerpted from A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi. Copyright © 2018 by Atia Abawi. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: American Prison
    American Prison
    by Shane Bauer
    After spending over two years in Iran's notorious Evin Prison for supposedly crossing the country's ...
  • Book Jacket: Small Fry
    Small Fry
    by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
    Small Fry is the debut memoir from Lisa Brennan-Jobs, long-time journalist and writer, and oldest ...
  • Book Jacket: The Winter Soldier
    The Winter Soldier
    by Daniel Mason
    Imagine the thousands of confounding cases doctors face routinely for which diagnoses are hard to ...
  • Book Jacket: Brother
    Brother
    by David Chariandy
    Brother is the brief, moving account of how a single, tragic moment in time can alter the course of ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Removes by Tatjana Soli

A powerful, transporting novel about the addictive intensity and freedom of the American frontier.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    French Exit
    by Patrick deWitt

    A brilliant and darkly comic novel from bestselling author Patrick deWitt.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton

A rich, spellbinding new novel from the author of The Lake House. On sale Oct 9.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T Turn T S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.