In the Language of Miracles by Rajia Hassib
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I was really looking forward to this novel after hearing rave reviews from a number of people that I trust. And it was good ... but it didn't quite live up to my expectations. I'm not going into the plot much since this is one of those books best read without a lot of information. In essence, it's about family, community, religion, grief and connection. And it's definitely worth reading.
It's a story about a family trying to raise their family and find their place within their community. I loved the insight into Egyptian culture. In fact, I wish there had been even more of that. I completely understand all of the rave reviews that I've read but I just wasn't as taken with this novel as I'd hoped. I never felt completely connected to the characters and I found that it was quite slow at times. I think the point was to move the plot along slowly but it made me less engaged as a reader.
The thing this book does better than anything is tackling the complex emotions at the center of grief. Hassib brings the many faces of grief alive and handles it with poise and sensitivity.
Don't take my 3 star review as a negative ... I did quite like this one but I didn't like it nearly as much as others have. So, if the premise is of interest to you, definitely pick it up. But, be careful not to read too much about it. I think it's better to come to the story with little information.