Naila's Reviews > House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East

House of Stone by Anthony Shadid
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's review
Mar 08, 15

really liked it
Read in August, 2012

Like so many books of this genre, I feel the weight of the gesture overshadows its execution.

Which isn't to say that I'm not glad he tried.

I will always be happy to see anyone, within or without the diaspora, to go back and rediscover their own family legacies, especially when most of the stories worth telling are downplayed by the heroes that star in them. Too many tales of kindness, bravery, and pain are lost to time and the larger-scale events that spurred them. These stories aren't always interesting, and they usually only hold real importance with their subjects' descendants, but they are mementos of people's lives and loves, and that has to count for something.

Basically, the preamble is so that I can say this: House of Stone is by no stretch of the imagination a great piece of literature. Even when placed in the small category of Arab "going-home" literature, it doesn't have the gorgeously deep and introspective prose of Amin Maalouf's Origins, nor the succinct finality of Kanafani's Return to Haifa

But I did enjoy reading it, and I felt it's warmth.
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