DubaiReader's Reviews > Mornings in Jenin

Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa
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's review
Mar 30, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: vine, 2010, ew-pm-bk-grp
Read from March 30 to April 01, 2010

An excellent introduction to the Palestinian / Israeli conflict.

I had previously read a couple of books set in Palestine, dealing with the effect of the invasion of Israel into Palestinian lands. Both left me with several questions. I was really impressed with Mornings in Jenin because it filled in the gaps in my knowledge with such ease, whilst providing an excellent narrative and a rewarding read.

The fact that the author was born in a refugee camp gives her a hands-on view of events from the Palestinian point of view. Whilst I recognise that this will, necessarily, be a biased view, there are books available written from the other side of the fence that also describe the Israeli experience. It must be almost impossible to write a book on this subject that will be impartial.

The family in the novel are from El-Hod, originally in Palestine; they are displaced from their olive farm in 1948. The story is narrated by Amal, the young daughter of the Abulheja family, and continues over 4 generations of the same family. The strong hope for the future, in spite of the hardships, is evident, as well as the effects on youngsters, of life lived entierly in times of war.

Whilst not an easy read, I hope this will become a popular book, spreading the plight of the Palestinians in the West where the Israelis are generally thought to be the 'good-guys'.
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