- Fizzy Thoughts: Crescent


Friday, December 19, 2008

Diana Abu-Jaber
May 2004
398 pages

I read Origin, also by Diana Abu-Jaber, a few months ago. Despite its melancholy feel, I loved the book and was looking forward to reading something else by the author. But wow…reading Crescent was like reading an entirely different author. This book had such a dreamy, enchanted feel to it.

Synopsis from Barnes and Noble:

Half-Iraqi, half-American Sirine is a cook at Nadia's Cafe, which draws the neighborhood's Arab students, expatriates, and exiles. All are hungry for "real true Arab food" and connection to their homes. One is Hanif Al Eyad, a new hire in the Near Eastern Studies Department at the university who fled Iraq as a young man. Sirine and Han fall in love over food: a baklava they make together, delicate lamb dishes, hummus glistening with olive oil.

Populated by colorful and memorable characters—the lovely Sirine; the handsome Han; Sirine's story-telling uncle, whose fantastic fables are woven into the novel; a poet named Aziz; Nadia and her daughter Mireille—Crescent explores the universal themes of love and loyalty to countries old and new, to those left behind, and to tradition. Some of the characters are learning to live in one country and let go of another, and some are not—a fact that sparks a surprising ending.

Despite the good story and the interesting characters, I prefer Origin. Which is odd, since I wouldn’t consider Origin to be the type of book I usually go for. Not that I have a type. Crescent bogged down a bit in the middle, and it took me about two weeks to read it, which is almost unheard of for me. I almost gave up, but for some reason I felt compelled to finish it. And then I read this line:

"...it isn't healthy to abandon a story."

Ack! The book was talking to me! So I obeyed and finished it. And it wasn't bad. I just think I wasn't in the mood for this type of book.

2 comment(s):

Veens said...

Yeah, so I better read Origin before anyhting else :)

That's creepy :) the book talking to u :) well then coming to think of it... the book does talk to u :)

Veens said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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