This turned out to be one of my favorite books so far in 2021. It did not immediately start out that way; there are quite a few characters, and because I kept putting the book down, I would forget who was who. I urge all readers to not give up on this book. Also, do not start skimming since some of the little details come into play later in the book. Although the story begins with focus on the three adult children (daughters Ava and Naj; son Mimi) and their modern complications – faltering careers, faltering relationships, and faltering interest in the sale of the family home back in Lebanon, the real focus will become the parents Syrian mother Mazna and Lebanese father Idris. The parents grew up and went to school in the Middle East, then came to the USA later in life.
The relationship of the parents was complicated decades ago and remains so decades later. There are surprising twists, heartbreak, and hope as the author weaves together a very original story along with Ottoman history of “Greater Syria” and Lebanese independence.
Ultimately, this was a 5 star read.