They say there was or there wasn’t in olden times a story as old as life, as young as this moment, a story that is yours and is mine. Once in a Promised. Once in a Promised Land has ratings and 37 reviews. Ben said: This book was intriguing at first. Halaby creates two rich characters, Jassim and Salwa. Laila Halaby’s intelligent, exquisitely written second novel explores the conflicts of an Arabic Jordanian couple living in America directly after the terrible events.
|Published (Last):||3 October 2006|
|PDF File Size:||5.11 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||3.72 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
However acclimated they are to American life, Jassim and Salwa are foreigners in a land now hostile to people who look like they do. These are two modern Western people who have their respective worlds turned upside down, set adrift by secrets, dishonesty, and their own inability to communicate their deepest fears to those around them – and in the end, even to each other.
Have you ever been subject to discrimination? The story was interesting and I really liked the writing style. Laila Halaby is an extraordinary storyteller, who artfully builds the Haddads’ world from inside-out, while several subplots flow easily into the over-arching setting. What if you were the parent of a child who was killed in an accident-would you want to meet the person who was responsible, even if accidentally, for your child’s death?
Both are upwardly mobile over-achievers who seem to be living their version of the “American dream.
Lists with This Book. Proimsed builds the plot masterfully, and my three star-disappointment probably has much more to do with my overly high expectations than any failings of the novel itself.
See all 11 reviews. I enjoyed my stay in Jassim’s and Salwa’s minds, exploring their reactions to the tragedies that befall them and how they deal with the consequences of their own decisions.
Follow the Author
Their marriage suffers from a series of tragic events, cover-ups and lies. Unknown to Jassim, his friend at the swim club, alerted the FBI to Jassim and said that he might be a terror suspect especially since his work involved the city’s water supply. They say there was or there wasn’t in olden times a story as old as life, as young as this moment, a story that is yours and is mine.
Initially I was attracted to Salwa’s character, finding Jassim cold.
Can you point to specific instances when Salwa and Jassim have to reconcile the differences between the Arab and the American cultures or lifestyles? The Best Jazz of She came to Tucson at the age of five where she now lives with her husband and two sons.
Insightful because it allows us to see into a place that most of us don’t know about. Thanks for telling us about the problem. The same goes for the relationship Jassim begins to develop with another woman who feels entirely like a redundant character, much like the dark shadow cast by Salwa’s ineffective ex-boyfriend. When Jassim kills a teenage boy in a terrible accident and Salwa becomes hopelessly entangled with a shady young American, their tenuous lives in exile and their fragile marriage begin to unravel.
Salwa and Jassim suffer in many ways after the events that unfold in their lives. Once in a Promised Land is a dramatic and achingly honest look at what it means to straddle cultures, to be viewed with suspicion, and to struggle to find safe haven.
Not a book I’d recommend, but it certainly shows the allure and hollowness of idolatry in this case, the “American dream” of happiness by self-effort and material success.
Jassim hits a teenage boy with his car. I also really appreciated the way the author gave us history lessons on random facts regarding every day things we dont think about it. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon.
The only downside is the ending. Would you go visit the victim’s family, as Jassim did, or avoid them? When Jassim kills a teenage boy in a terrible accident and Salwa becomes hopelessly entangled with a shadowy young American, their tenuous lives in exile and their fragile marriage begin to unravel. Jassim, a hydrologist, believes passionately in his mission to keep the water tables from dropping and make water accessible to all people, but his work is threatened by an FBI witch hunt for domestic terrorists.
Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. If I ever got around to doing my own writing, I hope my style would be reminiscent of Laila Halaby’s. You see the man swimming in the water, but the shadow is of an promiaed. Each morning before work, Jassim swam at his club, where he met a seemingly- friendly, fellow swimmer and flirted with the receptionist.
Jassim ends up x undermined by his wife’s distractedness and the self-doubt that has begun to plague his marriage, and also by a triumvirate of small-minded office girls who launch a government investigation against him.
Once in a Promised Land by Laila Halaby – PopMatters
Jassim and Salwa Haddad live comfortably with well-paying jobs, fancy cars and more space and privacy than they ever had in Jordan. In my opinion, it was dark like House of Sand and Fog, but didn’t have some of the levity found in Middlesex, both books that I really loved about the immigrant experience.
But their place in the world is tenuous, and their lives begin to unravel from pressures outside and inside themselves. I have been looking forward to reading this book for a long time, since the cover designer spoke at a meeting I went to, before the book was even published.
You might also be interested in: What if I say that Once in a Promised Land is brilliant, insightful, heartbreaking, oncw does that even mean anymore?