Salt Houses

Narrated by: Leila Buck
Length: 12 hrs and 15 mins
4 out of 5 stars (193 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From a dazzling new literary voice, a debut novel about a Palestinian family caught between present and past, between displacement and home.

On the eve of her daughter Alia's wedding, Salma reads the girl's future in a cup of coffee dregs. She sees an unsettled life for Alia and her children; she also sees travel, and luck. While she chooses to keep her predictions to herself that day, they will all soon come to pass when the family is uprooted in the wake of the Six-Day War of 1967.

Salma is forced to leave her home in Nablus; Alia's brother gets pulled into a politically militarized world he can't escape; and Alia and her gentle-spirited husband move to Kuwait City, where they reluctantly build a life with their three children. When Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait in 1990, Alia and her family once again lose their home, their land, and their story as they know it, scattering to Beirut, Paris, Boston, and beyond. Soon Alia's children begin families of their own, once again navigating the burdens (and blessings) of assimilation in foreign cities.

Lyrical and heartbreaking, Salt Houses is a remarkable debut novel that challenges and humanizes an age-old conflict we might think we understand - one that asks us to confront that most devastating of all truths: you can't go home again.

© 2017  Hala Alyan (P)2017  Recorded Books 
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A Palestinian Family in Exile

The overall story line was a bit anticlimactic, it was just a day by day description of this family's life. However, it was still a beautifully described and detailed insight to each and every character along 4 generations. A family's life after exile from Nablus.. It takes us through Kuwait, Jordan, Paris, Beirut, and Manhattan.. never truly belonging anywhere.
Every character's thoughts were described in great detail and very well developed, making their personalities shined through. The detailed illustrations of landscapes, food, and culture really made one have a sense of being there!

5 people found this helpful

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

This may be one of my all time faves

Both heartbreakingly and triumphant, a beautiful story that peeled back the curtain of misinformation/stereotype of a family navigating the never ending turmoil and devastating war in Palestine. Stunningly written... this book has earned a place in my all time faves. And in my heart

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disjointed story

Too many characters whose names were not all easy to keep track of as the setting skipped all over the globe.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Meandering

I was disappointed in the end. I had different expectations for this book and was looking for more substance. The story was somewhat interesting but meandering and became stale with vague references and loose ends. Just when a character was becoming interesting the focus changes to another in an abrupt transition of time and place. Epilogue was strange and unnecessary not really adding insight or closure just left me thinking why add this?
Narration was very good- otherwise I wouldn’t have finished listening.