Allison Backman's Reviews > Jasmine and Fire: A Bittersweet Year in Beirut

Jasmine and Fire by Salma Abdelnour
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's review
May 07, 2012

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bookshelves: first-reads
Read from June 03 to 10, 2012

I won this book in a Good Reads giveaway and am glad that I did. It fits into one of my enjoyed literature categories of "woman-goes-to-the-Middle-East-for-a-year-and-finds-herself-while-writing-about-the-experience-in-memoir-form." So yes, in that regard, the book was a bit cookie cutter with a very neat-and-tidy ending. However, that being said, I did enjoy it for what it was. Abdelnour spends most of the book meditating on the ideas of "home" and "travel," both of which are near and dear to my heart, and both of which she covered with some really interesting insights. She also includes lots of delicious food descriptions which, of course, piqued my interest.

I would definitely recommend this book for those who like female memoirs/travelogues, and I do think that Abdelnours writes beautifully. It took me a while to get through the book, so I think her writing might have been a bit too slow for my liking, and possibly un-engaging at times. But I will say that it did open my eyes to the culture of Lebanon and even aspects of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and for that, I am very glad!

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