BookBrowse Reviews The Confusion of Languages by Siobhan Fallon

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The Confusion of Languages

by Siobhan Fallon

The Confusion of Languages by Siobhan Fallon
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  • Published:
    Jun 2017, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Poornima Apte

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A searing debut novel about jealousy, the unpredictable path of friendship, and the secrets kept in marriage, all set within the U.S. expat community of the Middle East during the rise of the Arab Spring.

The Confusion of Languages is about collision — across boundaries and between cultures for sure, but it also showcases the clashes that can develop between people bound together by marriage, vocation or circumstance.

Margaret Brickshaw, newly arrived in Jordan alongside her military husband, Crick, is Exhibit A for the relentless American style of sunny optimism. Her mentor, fellow American Cassandra Hugo, is convinced that Margaret's brand of cheer, almost bordering on naivete, must be tempered if she is to survive in the shifting sands of the Middle East. "Margaret doesn't recognize that the line between us and them is real," Cass worries, "She's infected with our great American hubris of assuming that deep down every single person wants the same thing: autonomy, freedom, democracy, independence."

Frustrated by infertility and a distant military husband Dan,...

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