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    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review – The Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhadar

    Reading Wednesday

    Location: Reading Wednesday

    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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    Reading Wednesday

    Reading Wednesday

    The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

    The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    Arthur Pepper is a lonely old widower stuck in his routine and unwilling to venture beyond his grief for the loss of his wife of 40 years.  Until one day when he finds a curious charm bracelet hidden inside a boot as he is cleaning out his wife’s closet on the first anniversary of her death.

    Arthur Pepper begins the most unlikely journey as he tries to discover more about the charms and learns many things about his beloved wife he never knew.  Arthur’s adventures take him from England to France to India and creates opportunities and experiences old crotchety Arthur would never have found himself in before finding the charm bracelet including being attacked by a tiger, posting nude for an art class and discovering he may actually know more about love and relationships than he ever realized.

    You can’t help but love Arthur Pepper and this story of family, love and life and how you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.  Life is not over at 69.  He may only just be beginning.  Five stars for The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper.