BookBrowse Reviews Salt Houses by Hala Alyan

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Salt Houses

by Hala Alyan

Salt Houses by Hala Alyan X
Salt Houses by Hala Alyan
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    May 2017, 320 pages
    Jun 5, 2018, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Claire McAlpine

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About this Book



Lyrical and heartbreaking, Salt Houses is a remarkable debut that asks us to confront that most devastating of all truths: you can't go home again.

Salt Houses is the story of a Palestinian family living in Nablus; it begins on the eve of the youngest daughter Alia's wedding. Her mother reads her daughter's coffee cup grains, withholding from everyone what she has actually seen. This sets the novel in motion, with its implicit suggestion of unspoken misfortune. No one in the family knows the fate that awaits them, a destiny that will be shared by a significant portion of the Palestinian population, as they are continuously displaced from one town or village to another, and from one country to another.

Each chapter of Salt Houses is titled with the name of one of the family members, as well as the city and the year, beginning with Alia's mother, Salma, in Nablus in 1963. Nablus is the town Alia and her family fled to from Jaffa in 1948, the year of the Nakba when Alia was three years old. The Nakba (literally "...

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