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Title: Mornings in Jenin
Authors: Abulhawa, Susan
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 331
Year: 2010
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Language: English
Description: Palestine 1948. The Abulheja family are forcibly removed from their ancestral home in Ein Hod and sent to live in a refugee camp in Jenin. Through Amal, the bright granddaughter of the patriarch, we witness the stories of her brothers: one, a stolen boy who becomes an Israeli soldier; the other who in sacrificing everything for the Palestinian cause will become his enemy. Amal's own dramatic story threads its way through six decades of Israeli-Palestinian tension: it is one of love and loss, of childhood, marriage, parenthood, and finally the need to share history with her daughter, to preserve the greatest love she has. [Taken from the book cover.] What's Hot - August 2013


Comments from Groups:

A very polemic book that deeply moved us and kickstarted a very lively and deep conversation. A real eye-opener to a little heard Pakistan perspective... Lower Hutt 006

Great book that changed our perspective on the situation in the Middle East. Auckland 208

Fantastic book. One of the best. People in the book feel very human and inspiring. Auckland 256

A very powerful, heart-wrenching novel. Taupo 007

Although enlightening, the book was crushingly, unrelentingly depressing. Heart-wrenching to see families holding on to hope and love in the face of extreme adversity. Queenstown 10

Everyone found this book upsetting and were moved by it. "Should be read by all" Martinborough 001

We nearly all agreed that this was a story that should be told, but we disagreed on how well the author had done it. Some of us thought that her language was poetic and spiritual, others thought it was embarrassing purple prose. Wanganui 011

The book had a big impact on everybody. Although in recent years we have heard more of the Palestinian side, this brought home the huge bias in the information we had back then. The poetic writing, the descriptions, the emotional impact, the trauma, the daily lives, the Persian poets - so wide ranging with great beauty and humanity. Napier 026

"Mornings in Jenin' was well received by our group. It was the first time any of us had really read anything about the conflict from the Palestinian point of view. One of our group had worked on a kibbutz and her input was interesting. A comment was made that the shuffling from first to third person wasn't a helpful technique, and that there were too many characters, but overall very positive feedback. Christchurch 395

An amazing book. So beautifully and poetically written about lives caught up in both sides of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Great love, great sorrow - life and death in generations of families. All this without judgement or taking sides. We very much appreciated this book. Wellington 130

'Mornings in Jenin' was a great hit with the group. We found it a moving insight into the reality of the refugee experience. The characters were convincing, and heroic in enduring the circumstances they were forced into. Hamilton 029

We think this is a five star novel. Beautifully written and you feel as though you are living through it all. Tragic yet somehow beautiful. Highly recommended. Nelson 056

Mixed reaction, but the majority absolutely loved the book - others were 'sickened' by the sad story. A very grim tale! Very rich language, enlightening politically and we learned something of history we didn't understand before - gaining a different perspective. Some found it hard to get into, especially the names. Beautifully written - the turns of phrase and poetry. Christchurch 240

Fantastic book. Everyone agreed that it's the best book we have read over the last year. Clarkville 001

Categories: Fiction, War theme, Community, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Family Saga, Grief/loss, Human Rights, Israel, Palestine, What's Hot, Popular Book with Groups, Blind Foundation book

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