I came here, coming to the end of reading this book, thinking I would see other reviews. What a surprise to find none! Well: read this book. If you haven't read her first, "Bread of Angels," read that first, it is particularly meaningful now. This one, the second in the story of her life in the Middle East with her beloved husband, a former and eternal French monk, takes in the birth of her first child, with the family living in Jerusalem. It is beautiful and poetic and poignant and terrifying, truly a woman's story, yet a story of the best in all womankind in love and war. We here in the States currently live in a war zone, although largely unacknowledged, and this book gives me courage to go on living until the light breaks through again. Stephanie, you are the girl I always wished lived next door.
There are books that you seek, finding them easily, often in the place that is looked, and then there are books that somehow seek you, arriving quietly inside a manila envelope. Paper wrapped in paper, the ordinary holding the extraordinary, and you sit there, blissfully unaware that it is magic that you now hold in your hands. As I leafed through the pages, I read one line and then another and before I even began that first paragraph I knew that this book, like Saldana’s memories of lemon trees and orange trees that grace her story, would forever be sewn into my soul and my life as both a reader and a writer would forever be changed for this book, Saldana’s miraculous recountal of all things that books must be written about: love and life, death and war, parents and children, is written with such profound poetry that even with nine pages left I am afraid to finish, fearful that I may never again read something so beautiful as this. Thank you, Stephanie Saldana. Thank you for sharing with us an eternity.
I've waited very impatiently for SEVEN years for Saldana's next book and it absolutely did not disappoint. QUITE the opposite, By chance I picked up her first memoir, The Bread of Angels, before a trip to France in 2010 and I'll always remember reading that book as much as the trip itself for the most beautiful writing of any memoir I'd ever read. And the love story itself is just an exquisite poem. This book continues Saldana's journey and it was as magnificent as her first book. I'll be giving copies of her books to friends and loved ones for years to come. Its truly one of the most beautiful pieces of writing and stories I've ever read in my all my 44 years. I can't recommend it enough.
Stephanie Saldaña's writing is so crisp and colorful that it's worth reading *A Country Between* for the poetry alone. The real payoff, however, is learning to see mysterious invitation in chance encounters and conversations with fellow travelers. Saldaña traces a journey from graduate studies in Syria to an unlikely marriage to a home on divided Nablus Road in Jerusalem where neighbors become an extended family celebrating and suffering together as history bears down on their block. Her memoire is more than an intimate window into the conflict in Israel and Palestine. It is a practical guide to making meaning of one's life.
A wonderful read! The book gives a voice to the concerns of personal relationships and parenthood within the context of a very conflicted world, opens our eyes to the daily challenges of those who livie in a war zone, and makes us recognize that there is more to people than we see on the surface.