It is 1947, and Beit Daras, a quiet village in Palestine surrounded by olive groves, is home to the Baraka family. Eldest daughter Nazmiyeh looks after her widowed mother, prone to wandering and strange outbursts, while her brother Mamdouh tends to the village bees. Their younger sister Mariam, with her striking mismatched eyes, spends her days talking to imaginary friends and writing.
When Israeli forces gather outside the town's borders, nobody suspects the terror that is about to descend. Soon the village is burning and, amidst smoke and ash, the family must take the long road to Gaza, in a walk that will test them to their limits.
Sixty years later, Mamdouh's granddaughter Nur is living in America. She falls in love with a married man, a doctor who works in Palestine, and follows him to Gaza. There she meets Alwan, the mother of Khaled - a boy trapped in his own body, unable to wake up from a deep blue dream. It is through her that Nur will at last discover the ties of kinship that transcend distance - and even death.
The Blue Between Sky and Water is a story of powerful, flawed women; of relocation, separation, and heartache; of renewal, family, endurance, and love. Susan Abulhawa brings a raw humanity and delicate authority to the story of Palestine in this devastatingly beautiful tale.
©2015 Susan Abulhawa (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
This book is a sobering insight into the life of the Palestinians living in Gaza. I found a lot of what I thought I knew and understood of Gaza was wrong.Many of my preconceived notions about the conflict were shattered by this book. I remember when all those Palestinians were released from prison in exchange for the one Israeli soldier but to hear the story recounted by the mothers, wives and sisters of the Palestinian prisoners and what they had to endure to visit their sons, husbands and brothers in prison was an education. Its a book about the courage and resilience of women and the power and strength of family and hope.
"I wish the narrator spoke Arabic ..."
A really beautiful story about life in Gaza through the eyes of one family. It has only touched on the tragedy the Palestinians have had to face in the aftermath of the Israeli occupation.
Although the narrator did a good job overall I could not get passed the fact that she had no knowledge of the Arabic language and butchered the names and words that the author deliberately included . I'm not sure how the author would agree to have a narrator that did not master the Arabic language.
Over all a good read, but the ending seemed a bit rushed.
Susan brought alive an experience of living as a refugee blending in romance, fear, trauma, and a myriad of emotions that made this novel amazingly riveting.
Nazmieh's real and down to earth character that blended cultural nuances with humor and the reality of refugee life.
At times, you can hear the wistful and emotional reaction to what she is reading.
I lived every moment of the characters' experience; at times laughing and then choking on tears.
A must read!
"Favorite book of the year!"
I'm in awe of Susan Abulhawa and the narrator Jennifer Woodward. The author has crafted a book that has pulled me into this family and their lives. I surrendered myself so completely that I feel a bit bereft about waking up in my life's reality rather than being surrounded by the strong and loving characters that the author created and the narrator gave life audibly.
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