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The Blue Between Sky and Water

In the small Palestinian farming village of Beit Daras, the women of the Baraka family inspire awe. Nazmiyeh is brazen and fiercely protective of her clairvoyant little sister, Mariam, with her mismatched eyes, and of their mother, Um Mahmoud, known for the fearsome djinni that sometimes possesses her. When the family is forced by the newly formed State of Israel to leave their ancestral home, only Nazmiyeh and her brother survive the long road to Gaza. Amidst the violence and fragility of the refugee camp, Nazmiyeh builds a family, navigates crises, and nurtures what remains of Beit Daras’s community. But her brother continues his exile’s journey to America, where, upon his death, his granddaughter Nur grows up alone, in a different kind of exile, the longing for family and roots eventually beckoning her to Gaza.

Internationally bestselling author Susan Abulhawa’s powerful novel explores the legacy of dispossession across continents and generations. With devastatingly clear-eyed vision of political and personal trauma, The Blue Between Sky and Water is the story of flawed yet profoundly courageous women, of separation and heartache, endurance and renewal.

The story Susan Abulhawa tells in this marvelous novel is hard to bear but impossible to ignore. Her vision is precise, courageous, and dazzling

Teju Cole, author of Open City

A family saga with global reach, these stories of fortune tellers, fighters, little girls and old women, jump off the page and into the soul and reach far beyond any headline or statistic, past the head, to the heart.

Laleh Khadivi, author of The Age of Orphans and The Walking

A great feat of imagination and storytelling

Raja Shehadeh, author of Strangers in the House

Another legendary literary swooner by Susan Abulhawa


Magical . . . The way the story is told is haunting. It pulls you in and you want to never emerge

Asian Age

Relevant and insightful . . . Beautiful and heartfelt, this precise, vividly written novel is an inspiring choice for discussion groups

Starred Review, Library Journal

Abulhawa mixes magical realism, family melodrama, and politics in her storytelling about several generations of Palestinian women trying to survive in Gaza before and during the Israeli occupation

Kirkus Review

Gripping and deeply moving . . . Abulhawa's prose is luminous; her control of a complex weaving of narrative voices--young and old, male and female, magical and real--is masterful . . . Hers is a voice that returns to the world the stories of Palestine that we ignore at our peril

The Independent

Suffused with mystery, pain, and love . . . Abulhawa's characters' lives vividly depict resiliency in the face of adversity

Publishers Weekly

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