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Publisher's Summary

In the village of al-Awafi in Oman, we encounter three sisters: Mayya, who marries after a heartbreak; Asma, who marries from a sense of duty; and Khawla, who chooses to refuse all offers and await a reunion with the man she loves, who has emigrated to Canada.

These three women and their families, their losses and loves, unspool beautifully against a backdrop of a rapidly changing Oman, a country evolving from a traditional, slave-owning society into its complex present. Through the sisters, we glimpse a society in all its degrees, from the very poorest of the local slave families to those making money through the advent of new wealth.

The first novel originally written in Arabic to ever win the Man Booker International Prize, and the first book by a female Omani author to be translated into English, Celestial Bodies marks the arrival in the United States of a major international writer.

©2018 Jokha Alharthi (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Celestial Bodies

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great story, horrible narration

I was frequently lost in the story. The narrator attempts to imitate voices but does not stick to a character-specific narration so the listener is not sure which character is talking. Other times, she is just too dramatic for no reason. I abandoned listening and bought a hard copy of the book instead.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

It sticks with you

I am torn on what to rate this book - it could be a 4 or 5. It is an unsettling book and I am not sure I like the story that much. However, the stories stick with you and I am still haunted by it. There is this undercurrent of gender-based violence throughout, but it’s sort of hidden and not in your face - much like it is in society really. But if you have experience with that you may find this book triggering. I do like that it is in Oman and the author is Omani - which I don’t think there are many books and authors out there from this country and it gives you a glimpse of what it’s like there now and had been in the past, which is interesting. The book has so many characters and jumps around between them and time frames, it can be hard to follow. But the narrator did an excellent job and I was able to follow it.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Educational and entertaining family saga

Interesting story - a little difficult to follow as it bounces in time and between characters

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

So lost!

I was excited about the topic of this book but I couldn’t get through even the first few chapters. It must be better in print ... I couldn’t follow a thing. Plus the constant bickering between the women, I had to abort the mission! Disappointing.

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great story, complicated reading

great but you must pay attention to follow this story line. loved all of the characters though.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Felt like a soap opera

A jumble of sparsely interconnected stories told out of sequence and without context. Dramatic in-laws, cheating husbands, and desperate housewives. Lots of dragging yet gorgeous description about mundane topics.