Lauren Kaskey's Reviews > West of the Jordan: A Novel

West of the Jordan by Laila Halaby
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Aug 21, 07

bookshelves: beaconbooks
Recommended for: people interested in the Arab-American and Palestinian experience
Read in August, 2007

This book took a while for me to really get in to. The way it was structured was a little confusing. The book is about four cousins, each chapter has the name of the cousin as the chapter title (they are all girls, there are multiple chapters with the same title). The only thing is--the chapters are from different viewpoints, but about that cousin. The first four chapters are from the cousins' viewpoints, their own narratives. Then the next chapters might be from the viewpoint of the mothers or grandmothers, or back to the cousins. It was confusing.

Once I did get into it, and started to get all the identities correct, I started to really like it. I'm thinking of re-reading this book almost immediately to see what I can get out of it if I read it with a better understanding of what's going on. This would be a good book to read in a class, where you can struggle with the understanding together, and maybe learn about some of the traditions and fables associated with the story. All around, I really liked it.
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