One of the best books I’ve read since The Dovekeepers, and similar in style. This beautifully written and Homeric first novel by Joukadar is poetic and powerful. I enjoyed every word.
Similar to works by Houssein about Afghanistan, Joukhadar takes us to ancient Syria and present day war torn Syria in a melodic tale that weaves fact and fiction, myth and legend, family and heartbreak.
The story follows two young girls in alternating timelines, one traveling and posing as a boy in ancient Syria on a mapmaking odyssey reminiscent of Homer. The other a young girl posing as a boy to survive crossing multiple borders in war torn present day Middle East North Africa along a similar route to survive the horrific and brutal destruction of her families home country.
A remarkably told story, gripping and beautiful. I highly recommend this debut novel. I learned a lot about Syria both past and present and have a greater appreciation of the devastation for the innocent victims of this violent situation. I look forward to more works by Joukhadar.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Five stars for The Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhadar.
Read last week’s review of A Long Way Gone.
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