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4.7 out of 5 stars207
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 2 May 2015
Still reading it - so glad to have a proper paper copy to read and enjoy.
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on 8 August 2012
One of the few novels that tells the history of Palestine from a normal Palestinian family perspective. I was very surprised by how good the story is told. It is one of the novels that I couldn't stop reading and if I had too I was thinking over and over what would happen next.

The novel is so realistic and so true and a lot of Palestinian have lived this kind of life but no one put it down on papers for the world to read.

I am so proud of Palestinian women and their achievements in culture and knowledge.
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on 11 April 2011
It's important that this popular novel has brought the injustice and suffering of ordinary Palestinian families to a wider audience but it's no masterpiece. It's not even well written. In places there's too much telling rather than showing. The plot line featuring the stolen brother ending up on the opposite side of the religious divide is pure Jeffrey Archer and the reunion is an anti-climax featuring simplistic emotional responses when they should be hugely conflicting and complex.

The dialogue is generally unconvincing and the prose veers from flat to overblown.
This is a scene where Dalia has a miscarriage and a village woman bad-mouths her to Basima.

"'Out of my house!' Basima threw the woman to the ground and went to Dalia. `No more mourning, my Dalia. Let's breed roses for a new beginning,' she said, coaxing her daughter in law from the clench of her own jaw and ending that episode of grief.'"

The sex scenes are excruciatingly bad, so let's not go there.

The perspective occasionally switches disjointedly from first to third person. The style is bitty. The narrative is clumsily and intrusively interspersed with poetry; songs; and an eclectic array of extracts from Khalil Gibran to Robert Fisk, then bizarrely, in the final pages, blogs from a website which turns out to be the home page for the book. Postmodern meta fiction or crass publicity device? The latter I'm afraid.

There is a fair amount of carnage, which given her subject matter is perhaps required to make people aware of the tragic human cost of this conflict. Real people who were killed, as depicted in Fisk's journalism, are appropriated by Abulhawa and transformed into the two-dimensional characters she had created in her story. This felt wrong. The excerpts from Fisk are very powerful but his incisive prose only serves to highlight the author's weaknesses

The cover is appealing and this looked like something I could really get my teeth into but I was disappointed. Good marks for moral purpose but could-do-better for literary merit.
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on 7 December 2014
.The best book I have read this year. I hope you will write more.
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on 24 December 2013
Bought this book on a whim and found probably the best read of 2013 for me (I read a lot!). Beautifully written (especially as its her first book), a real insight into an ongoing conflict that has and is affecting hundreds of thousands of people who can make you appreciate your own life soooo much! Despite the harrowing narrative, it does actually have a feel-good factor to it and just an amazing read. BUY IT! It's brilliant!
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on 11 August 2015
Outstanding , moving , informative. Worth every penny . Buy it.
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on 27 February 2015
It was so thought provoking,emotional and beautifully written.
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on 28 January 2015
Beautifully written, very emotional and thought provoking.
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on 29 July 2011
This is an excellent book, well written, descriptive, topical and it runs at a very fast pace.
We have a Book Club in our village and I can rate Mornings in Jenin as one of the best books I have read for the last five years. As we read approximately ten books a year, plus our own personal reading, you can see I rate this story very highly.
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VINE VOICEon 2 November 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I got this book expecting a touching story from Palestine, a story of generations growing up torn apart by conflict (Pretty much how the book is advertised really) What I found was a book that was largely lacking the the substance to make it a decent novel and one that was put together in a far too black and white manner.

By black and white its far too "Once upon a time there were the Palestinian people who were very very good and lived in a very nice land and then along came the nasty Israelis who were very very bad (With precious few exceptions) Who stole their land and were generally, well just plain bad" In another words, as a novel there is nothing to get your teeth into, nothing to maintain the interest of the reader. I guarantee it, those who consider themselves to be pro Palestinian will rate this and those pro Israel will slate it both sides without bothering to look to see if its a decent novel or not. The book starts off with a Palestinian woman looking down the barrel of an Israeli gun, knowing she faces certain death. The book then moves back in time to British mandate Palestine when the local people live an idyllic life of fruit picking, farming and generally just being nice. The first Jews (?) Start to arrive one lad becoming friends with a local Arab lad who teaches him a few words of Arabic. The young Arab lad is kept away from school by his father who gave greater importance to land than education (Something he is soon to regret) So the Jewish lad hands him a few books so he can keep up with whats going on in school. The book scoots on to where the Palestinians are being chased from their homes into exile and an Arab baby is stolen from his mother by an Israeli soldier whose wife is barren after being raped by Nazis (???) and so begins our story.

We are treated at the end to question and answer by the author regarding what we have learned about the Arab Israeli conflict (Not an awful lot to be honest from this book other than the Israelis are a frightful bunch) and there is a bit of further reading as well. If the author had concentrated more on putting together a convincing novel and less on trying to get sides then I feel this book would have been a lot better.
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