Salt Houses – book review

Hala Alyan’s novel Salt Houses is a thoughtful narrative of family and the destructive nature of war from a Palestinian perspective. Her deft use of imagery leaves the reader in the cool gardens of one generation to the blasting air conditioning of the next. Alyan’s characters are centralized around the feminine narratives that weave through generations of change, upheaval, love, and family. The inescapable tragedy of violence that has marred the Palestinian diaspora as they move from country to country reminds us that history plagues all generations, regardless of when they were born. The clashes of mothers and daughters set against a sea of emotions and unexplored sorrow allows us the reader to glimpse into an otherwise easily ignored world. Colors and textures, tastes and smells of Palestinian culture are brought to life as each generations looks to fine themselves. A wonderful read at any time but even more so since Covid has halted travel.

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