Hala Alyan | Fiction, 2017
I must give Salt Houses four hearts. I can’t be critical of it; it has many good reviews. My life was in chaos in the last ten days or so, between work, volunteering, and relationships. I could not focus on this book, and so I just pushed my way through, because I wanted to finish it for my Decolonization book club. Whenever I did connect with it, however, I found the relationships and the characters multidimensional, complex, and real. Spanning March 1963 to 2014, it is the moving story of a single family, living In Nablus and uprooted by the Six-Day War in 1967. Eventually, parts of the family live in Kuwait, Boston, Paris, Beirut, Amman, and Jaffa. It is criminal that the publisher did not include a map in this book. It would have helped readers to better understand the implications of the moves they chose to make or were forced to make. However, I am grateful for the family tree. Along with the Yacoub family’s reactions to war and unsettled lands, we witness the rise of feminism and the influence of American culture as we read about the generations. The author refers to herself as Palestinian-American.
Have you read Salt Houses? What comments do you have?