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Correspondents

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4.26  ·  Rating details ·  519 ratings  ·  146 reviews
The world is Rita Khoury's oyster. The bright and driven daughter of a Boston-area Irish-Arab family that has risen over the generations from poor immigrants to part of the coastal elite, Rita grows up in a 1980s cultural mishmash. Corned beef and cabbage sit on the dinner table alongside stuffed grape leaves and tabooleh, all cooked by Rita's mother, an Irish nurse who ...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published May 15th 2019 by Grove Press
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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Esil
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Correspondents requires patience, but I found it well worth the read. The story spans a couple of generations, ultimately focusing on Rita and Nabil. Rita is the daughter of a Lebanese father and an Irish mother, growing up in the US and becoming a war correspondent. Nabil is an Iraqi translator, who works with Rita when she is stationed in Iraq. The story builds slowly, spanning the US, Lebanon and Iraq. At times, it felt a bit too slow and a bit aimless, but eventually it comes together ...more
Michelle
**Top Book of 2019 Alert**

If you decide to take my advice on only one thing for the rest of your life - please make it this: Please read this book. This book is truly something special.


I've had this book on my Netgalley TBR since December 2018. Little did I know what I had sitting there waiting for me. There is no perfect book, but this book is as good as it gets and impacted me in such a way that I was left in tears.

Rita Khoury has an Irish mother and a Lebanese father. She is raised with
...more
Andrew Smith
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This is a story of ambition and love and of family history. It’s also about war and loss and what it means to be displaced. Rita Khoury is a Bostonian with Irish-Arab parents. She’s long wished for the opportunity to be a news reporter writing about the big events of the day and her wish is finally granted when she is deployed to Bagdad, just ahead of the 2003 war. She’s employed by a prestigious American newspaper and is desperate to make the most of this opportunity. There she meets Nabil, a ...more
Faith
Jul 21, 2019 rated it liked it
I thought this book took too long to get to its heart, and buried a compelling story under a lot of extraneous details. Rita is an American journalist of Irish/Lebanese heritage who is sent to Baghdad to cover Bush’s war against Saddam Hussein. Nabil, a young Iraqi who speaks excellent English, is assigned to work as her interpreter. The story of life in Baghdad during the war and of refugees in Syria and America was interesting. So was the story of Nabil’s coming to terms with his homosexuality ...more
Sofia
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
There is no good violence, it is always bad, whether done by Saddam, the Americans, the Taliban. Murphy's is a novel of perspectives, giving us different views but also showing how closeness, interest, openness to others creates empathy. I think our imagination needs the initial idea, spark to start working then we can start to imagine ourselves in another's place, try to imagine the joy, the pain, to emphatise.

Tim Murphy, a journalist himself, does not hesitate to take a look at the media and
...more
Marilyn G. Jackson
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoy good fiction but most of the novels I read turn out to be only so much twaddle, quickly forgotten as soon as I've finished the book. Correspondents is not one of those novels. I just finished and my head is still in a fog, lost in the lives of the individuals that populate this world. This saga connects multiple narratives and takes place primarily in the run-up to and early years of the Iraq war. The author does an excellent job of describing the multiple worlds and lives these ...more
John
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly engrossing, thought provoking, heart breaking and hopeful. A wonderful read.
Anneke
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-read
Book Review: Correspondents
Author: Tim Murphy
Publisher: Grove Atlantic
Publication Date: May 14, 2019
Review Date: February 18, 2019

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

When I read a few months ago that Tim Murphy’s book was coming out in 2019, I hoped and prayed that I would be granted approval on NetGalley. I was so bowled over by his previous book, Christadora, that I was thrilled that I might have the opportunity to read his next book.

I know my
...more
Mary Drayer
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A special read for me-my father was Lebanese and my mother was Irish-so this storyline took on an ancestry memory lane...from the food eaten, tons of relatives, the history of wars-past and current in the Middle East, to love, family, language, and immigration. The author, Tim Murray, captured it ALL for me.
Linda
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Linda by: Stephen McCauley on FB
Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow!
Thank you Stephen McCauley for making me aware of this book.
Correspondents, in this case, are journalists. The story starts with family history of one who is American, but she can count on one hand how many generations ago came to the U.S. She gets sent to Iraq where she meets a young man who works as her interpreter. What happens to them both together and alone make up the rest of the book that I don't want to give away.
On page 312, I got upset at the misuse of an oft
...more
Douglas
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Clearly Tim Gilbert is a gifted writer.
I appreciate most of what Correspondents provided, especially the story and the depth of consideration for the non-popular perspective on the Iraq invasion and protracted occupation.
The pacing of this book requires patience.
Barbara
Rita Khoury is half Irish and half Lebanese, from two large clan north of Boston. Her father is a doctor and his Lebanese family is comfortably upper middle class. They are Maronite Christians who are part of the Eastern Rite Orthodox Catholics. The Irish American branch of her family is Roman Catholic and lower middle class. Rita, always a driven being, goes to Harvard, but instead of medicine, she majors in Middle Eastern Studies. She also builds on her childhood knowledge of Arabic to prepare ...more
Karen Raskin
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars, and rounding up because this story was refreshingly different and really kept my interest. At various points the Iraq war is in the foreground or background. The two main characters are very sympathetic. Some of the scenes are achingly intimate or traumatic.
Donna Lewis
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was not looking forward to reading a book about the Iraq war, because I have only thought about it in abstract political terms — costly, unnecessary, a waste. However this book brings the war into a clear personal perspective. It focuses on a foreign correspondent, her interpreter, driver, and a close knit group of like-minded news people. The reader gets to know their families, lovers and friends. In 2004, the Iraqi people are trying to understand how the Americans have enough money and power ...more
Christopher Berry
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There is no other rating I could give this book, other than a perfect 10! OMG! Tim Murphy has done it again! I read Christodora when it came out in 2016, and loved it so much! This offering was actually a titch better, surprisingly! This novel was amazing! Murphy’s scope of storytelling, the research he put into this was just stellar. This story has such a wide array of topics that it covers others pale in comparison to this wonderful, yet heartbreaking narrative. Tim Murphy allows the reader ...more
Bonnye Reed
Feb 17, 2019 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Netgalley
Pub date May 24, 2019
Grove Press
Cherise Wolas
This is an affecting, powerful and empathetic novel of family and war. Central is Rita Khoury, the second daughter of a doctor of Christian Lebanese descent and a mother of Irish stock. She studies Arabic in high school and college and becomes a reporter for The Standard just as the war begins in Iraq - where she goes. Her translator is Nabil, a young Iraqi, a college graduate, with a secret that could him killed. His family and neighbors, of course, are hugely affected by the war. The author ...more
Aaron S
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up.

You will never read or hear anything related to Tim Murphy being a man of few words. If you’ve read Christodora and/or plan on reading this novel you will be in for an excellent story in which there will be times you’ll be completely engrossed with each storyline and each character’s unique personality and their role in the story. There will also most likely be times in which you’ll think to yourself, “Ok, let's get this going. Is this truly needed to further the story?”.
...more
Elyssa Gooding
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is an expansive and epic story that realistically shows characters who integrate cultures during war and conflict over the last half century. The bulk of the narrative is over the early 21st century, talking about the war in Iraq, gun violence in the US and terrorist attacks. The characters are sympathetic and realistic. The varying voices in the narrative show the variety of perspectives and pain in all the conflict.
Lauren Archer
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you NetGalley and Grove Press for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book. I just loved Christadora so much, I could not wait to get my hands on this book. This book covers many topics and to me falls into the category of epic, due to the number of characters, the locations this book takes place and the span of time. The story center around Rita who is half Lebanese/half Irish growing up in Massachusetts. After finishing college at Harvard she goes to work in the Middle East as a journalist ...more
The Fool
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think this is the closest I came to seeing myself represented in a book. Tim Murphy, thank you for writing this one.

4.75 stars.

As someone who was born in Iraq and left it at an early age because my parents were escaping Saddam, I've always struggled with my identity and nationality and who and what I am as a person and what my role is to do in this world.

This was an amazing, character-driven, heart-wrenching and beautifully written story of people coping with situations they cannot control.
...more
Dale Wyant
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book will haunt me for a long time. The focus in the book is the Iraq war, putting the reader on the middle of all the chaos and destruction the U.S. caused and personalizing it in a way the no news organization could.
The characters were believable and their arcs tragic.
I am so glad I read it, but it was tough. Highly recommend, but be prepared to be changed.
Lorraine
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
I thought this book would be slow going -- heavy, dark, 400+ pages of trauma and sadness, violence and regret. And it was all of these things, except slow. I found myself swept into the story and couldn't put it down. The characters were so human and compassionately drawn that I kept turning the pages to find out what happened next. Very satisfying.
Teresa
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just wonderful. Easily the best book I have read all year (so far).
Lynn
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
What a fantastic story. The main characters, Rita and Nabil, lead complicated lives. Set during the time of the Iraq war, the story is told through the multiple lenses of the American and Iraqi tolls paid, but also of the beauty found in the small things.
Margie Luck
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This timely book by the talented Tim Murphy (Christodora) is a sweeping story of a Lebanese-Irish family in Massachusetts' Merrimack Valley and the damage done by American policies related to the Iraq War that began in 2003, damage that is personal and global. With lots of backstory for proper context, we meet the protagonist Rita Khoury. She's a reporter for a New York Times-like publication who is just aching to get in on the action in Iraq. She has risen rather meteorically, helped in no ...more
Denise
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019, favourites, own
Correspondents may start out slowly and require some patience to get into, but it gets its hooks into you before you even notice, inexorably drawing the reader into the intertwined stories of Rita Khoury, an ambitious American journalist from an Irish-Lebanese background covering the 2003 invasion of Iraq in Baghdad, and Nabil al-Jumaili, the young Iraqi interpreter assigned to work with her while fearing for his family in the middle of a warzone and suppressing forbidden desires. At the core of ...more
Lisa
Oct 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
2.5 stars

A huge disappointment after LOVING Murphy's Christodora Christodora by Tim Murphy . I almost felt this was a different author. I looked it up several times to confirm that it was the same author. This book was disjointed and lacked a center. If you haven't read Christadora, please read it, it is excellent.
❤Marie Gentilcore
3.5 stars. I think I set my expectations too high after I saw that Khaled Hosseini recommended it and that it had a very high rating on Goodreads (It’s 4.28 as I write this). I thought this story about a journalist in the middle east and translator from Iraq was interesting but it just wasn't as compelling as I thought it would be and it never really grabbed me.
Walter Francis
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely the best book I've read so far this year. I won't tell much about the plot because the flow of it is masterful, and best discovered as you read. It mainly concerns the story of a Lebanese-American reporter covering the invasion of Iraq in 2002 and the Iraqi interpreter assigned to work with her. Much attention is given to the characters' family history and the effect that the War on Terror had on families in America and Iraq alike. The writing is beautiful and traumatic at the same ...more
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Tim Murphy is the author of the novels "Correspondents" and "Christodora," both published by Grove Atlantic. "Christodora" was longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal. Under the name Timothy Murphy, he is also the author of the 1990s novels "Getting Off Clean" and "The Breeders Box." He has been for nearly 20 years a journalist focusing mostly on HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ issues, for publications ...more
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