A Country Between: Making a Home Where Both Sides of Jerusalem Collide
"Behind every dark moment, there is another hidden world. The trick is to hold out long enough to make it there."
When American writer Stephanie Saldaña finds herself in an empty house at the beginning of Nablus Road, the dividing line between East and West Jerusalem, she is a new wife trying to navigate a fragile terrain, both within her marriage and throughout the count...more
This memoir is the story of an American woman who was considering becoming a nun in a Syrian monastery. She met a French novice monk there. Eventually, they left and married.
Through a series of unplanned events, they found themselves setting up their first household in Jerusalem. It was near the dividing line between Palestinian and Jewish areas near the Damascus Gate.
"The sun rose in the east speaking Arabic and set in the west speaking Hebrew, and we tried to find our way in between."...more
The author Stephanie, meets her to be husband Frédéric who was in his third and final year as a novitiate soon to become a monk at The Syrian desert monastery Deir Mar Musa, north of Damascus. I have not read the first part of this memoir, which I must do soon, to learn more about their relationship.
The Country Between, takes place when they move out of Syria and are trying to find out where they should live. They e ...more
Beyond that, this book wasn't anything too special.
And that was my biggest problem with it. Saldana beautifully describes a land and the people that I have never experienced and she is so poetic in talking about her marriage and children. And I really enjoyed reading it. This was a genuinely ...more
She describes with real empathy and care the choices and challenges that she and her husband make to discern how they can turn their love for each other into a life. The descriptions of her street in Jerusalem were lush and textured and I truly found those some of the most interesting observations of the book. I also loved and identified ...more
From the publishers:
When young mother Stephanie Saldana finds herself in an empty house at the beginning of Nablus road―the dividing line between East and West Jerus ...more
This book is written as a series of letters to Stephanie and Frederic's son, Joseph, who was born in Bethlehem. Saldana writes beaut ...more
Toward the end of the book, she writes:
"It will always be confusing to think that that which is terrible and that which is beautiful have the same materials to work with, the brick and mortar and earth and stars of our immediate world. There is that which can kill us, and that which will save us, and ...more
After they married, Saldana and her husband moved to Jerusalem. They lived on a street that turned out to be a border between Israel and Palestine. It's interesting, this idea of living in a war zone and starting a family, and hoping maybe it won't touch you. I mostly really liked it, occasionally there was a little too much ...more
Stephanie Saldaña's words are very well written, they flow well and sound a bit poetic. I devour every word written in this book. This is a captivating read, I cannot describe how much I love this book. I've been to Jerusalem before but this book makes me see Jerusalem differently. Thank you for sharing this story with us all. I can't wait to read another Stephanie Saldaña's book.
Thank you to Netgalley for this book.
I really enjoyed and appreciated this book starting at about page 300. The last 40 pages really bring the whole thing together... but not quite in time for me to really love it.
Beautiful and insightful writing about a challenging time and place.
(I read aloud the section about the mermaids in Jerusalem and my husband and I both laughed).
I love reading about how Christianity looks within different cultures and I appreciated Saldana's candor and stories.
monk, who made a home in the war torn city, Jerusalem. Among all of the conflicts,wars,and
violence, they found hope and beauty of family life. It is well written and engrossing
A Country Between is beautifully written, with thoughtful ideas about borders between countries, cultures, and people. I appreciate the New Books shelves at MRL and always find something interesting that expands my horizons.