by Therese Soukar Chehade
Lebanese immigrants to the US settle near Boston, leaving memories and cousins behind in Lebanon. This is the story of family members (grandmother Emilie, her son, George, his wife, Salma, their daughter Marie, and George's sister Josephine) who keep their ties to Lebanon. The novel chronicles the characters' thoughts and actions as they wait at home during a snowstorm for their cousin, Eve, to arrive from Lebanon after fifteen years of separation. Added to the mix are the connections they make with their eccentric neighbor whom they have named "Loom," whose own family ties propel him along inexplicable paths.
Chehade's literary style in this, her first book effort, starts off shakily as she fails to identify characters or repeats herself unnecessarily, but about a third of the way through, her voice emerges as strong and as resilient as her characters. As Chehade chronicles the effects of the unbalanced feeling of being of one culture and trying to assimilate into another, her prose makes each character stand out as an individual, while all the characters attempt to negotiate the dynamics of their unbalanced relationships with each other and with their neighbor, Loom. Chehade weaves a sense of place, memories of the past, emotional connections to both the old and the new, and characterization to make us understand the difficulties of emigrating to a new world, itself in the midst of rebirth after the events of September 11, 2001.
Therese Soukar Chehade was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. She teaches English language education at a school in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Authors/Publicists: For promotion purposes, you may quote excerpts of up to 200 words from our reviews, with a link to the page on which the review is posted. ©Copyright to the review is held by the writer (review posting date appears on the review page). If you wish to reprint the full review, you may do so ONLY with her written permission, and with a link to http://www.storycirclebookreviews.org. Contact our Book Review Editor (bookreviews at storycirclebookreviews.org) with your request and she will forward it to the appropriate person.
StoryCircleBookReviews.org has received a copy of this book for review from the author, publisher, or publicist. We have received no other compensation.