Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A House at the Edge of Tears” as Want to Read:
A House at the Edge of Tears
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A House at the Edge of Tears

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  77 ratings  ·  6 reviews
In the city of Beirut, five shabby dwellings circle a courtyard with a pomegranate tree weeping blood red fruit. The residents hear screams in the night as a boy is tossed out into the street by his father—a punishment for masturbating in his sleep. A crime not worthy of the punishment: the neighbors gossip and decide that he must have tried to rape his sisters. "Small-bon ...more
Paperback, 111 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by Graywolf Press (first published September 1st 1998)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A House at the Edge of Tears, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A House at the Edge of Tears

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-51
Average rating 3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  77 ratings  ·  6 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of A House at the Edge of Tears
Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day)
In a city of Beirut, five shabby dwellings circle a courtyard with a pomegranate tree. One night, the residents hear screams when a boy is harassed and assaulted by his father for masturbating in his sleep. When his wife begs him not to kill the boy, he says
The thought of killing him never crossed my mind. I want to bury him alive.

The boy is sent off to a monastery and later to an insane asylum. Each time, he returns back worse than before. His father also disapproves of the poems he writes, but
...more
Ian
Oct 18, 2017 rated it liked it
In this brief, perplexing and surreal novel by Vénus Khoury-Ghata, a Lebanese writer who has resided in Paris for many years, a family living in a poor Lebanon village before and during the civil war undergoes a series of tragic misfortunes and mishaps. When one of the family’s four daughters falls ill and dies, the father responds with raging violence against his only son, who has committed the twin transgressions of masturbation and writing poetry. The father (a former monk) lets the neighbour ...more
MFCT
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Drac
Cynthia Jackson
May 08, 2020 rated it did not like it
Confusing and disjointed. I couldn't wait for it to end. ...more
Jo O'Donnell
Nov 30, 2016 rated it liked it
A few chapters in when I realized (view spoiler) my thoughts on the book, which to that point had been darkened by a cast of unlikable characters and the continuing use of masturbation-as-plot-device, markedly improved. Not enough to push the book, which could have fleshed out many of the characters much more, to a 'recommend' for friends. Will definitely look into the author's other novels, though. ...more
Meegan
Oct 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Rodney
Amazing book! It is very short and toes the line between prose and poetry. The book is semi-autobiographical and tells the story of a family living in Lebanon (if I remember correctly) with an abusive father who was formerly a monk. Great, great book. Very bittersweet.
Safka
rated it really liked it
Jan 29, 2020
Vicki
rated it liked it
Dec 15, 2008
Rebecca spanioli
rated it liked it
Feb 06, 2012
Julnar
rated it it was amazing
Mar 30, 2016
Betsy
rated it really liked it
Jul 08, 2009
anya
rated it really liked it
Dec 13, 2007
Anne Bouey
rated it liked it
Jun 26, 2011
Mrudolph
rated it really liked it
Apr 10, 2011
Cindy
rated it it was ok
Feb 06, 2016
Cecile
rated it really liked it
Apr 02, 2011
Nada
rated it it was amazing
Sep 24, 2007
Rita Platt
rated it it was ok
Oct 03, 2010
Raquel
rated it liked it
Aug 22, 2007
Ashley Bostrom
rated it it was ok
Jun 20, 2015
Ouistiti
rated it liked it
Jul 16, 2017
Kelsi
rated it liked it
Apr 17, 2013
Hbugs
rated it it was ok
Dec 31, 2011
Aisha
rated it really liked it
May 12, 2016
Zen
rated it it was amazing
Feb 21, 2012
Supriya
rated it really liked it
Jan 04, 2016
Ed Lehman
rated it liked it
Sep 19, 2019
Joelle Zgheib
rated it really liked it
Apr 13, 2020
Nicole
rated it really liked it
Oct 23, 2008
Michael
marked it as to-read
Jul 09, 2007
Amy
added it
Oct 05, 2007
Maya
added it
Feb 18, 2008
Huffy
added it
May 13, 2008
Noreen
added it
Sep 05, 2008
Holly
marked it as to-read
Sep 27, 2008
Moira Russell
marked it as to-read
Nov 28, 2008
Asha
marked it as to-read
Jan 21, 2009
Laurel
marked it as to-read
Mar 04, 2009
Jodi
marked it as to-read
Mar 23, 2009
Bernie
added it
Jun 23, 2009
Samiya
marked it as to-read
Nov 09, 2009
Inna
marked it as to-read
Dec 27, 2009
Yolo
marked it as to-read
Jul 18, 2010
Shanae
marked it as to-read
Jul 19, 2010
Eva
marked it as to-read
Nov 13, 2010
Anne
marked it as to-read
Jan 14, 2011
Duckie
added it
Feb 15, 2011
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • At Night All Blood is Black
  • La sorcière rousse
  • The Hunting Gun
  • The Cut-Glass Bowl
  • Die Mansarde
  • The Heron
  • The Smell Of Hay
  • 1Q84 (1Q84, #1)
  • Las solidaridades misteriosas
  • La frontière
  • Carry On, Jeeves (Jeeves, #3)
  • Vers la beauté
  • La vie devant soi
  • La Vérité sur l'affaire Harry Quebert
  • The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires
  • The Wall
  • La Nuit des béguines
  • The Greenhouse
See similar books…
Vénus Khoury-Ghata is a Lebanese poet and novelist, resident in France since 1973. Her work has been translated into Arabic, Dutch, German, Italian and Russian, and she was named a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 2000.

News & Interviews

Why not focus on some serious family drama? Not yours, of course, but a fictional family whose story you can follow through the generations of...
83 likes · 30 comments