If you enjoy lyrically stunning writing with your contemporary and historical fiction (combines both genres in its dual narratives), The Map of Salt and Stars is an important and timely read!

The Map of Salt and StarsThe Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 colorful and descriptive stars to The Map of Salt and Stars! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The Syrian civil war and refugee crisis stay in the forefront of my mind most days. I am heartbroken. I am deeply worried. I am listening.

The Map of Salt and Stars had me intrigued since I first learned about it. I inhaled this book. Joukhadar’s writing is some of the most lyrical I’ve read. The main character, Nour, has synesthesia and sees colors, and you, the reader, will as well, as a landscape and story are artistically painted with the most elegant and heartrending brushstrokes.

In 2011, Nour’s father passes away, and her mother decides to move Nour and her sisters from New York City back to Syria to be closer to family. Unfortunately, Nour’s mother could not have predicted the unraveling of her once beloved country and the dire predicament that would await the family once the house is destroyed by a shell. Nour and her family flee to safety, crossing seven countries in the Middle East and Africa.

The second narrative takes place over 800 years prior and is about Rawiya, a girl who disguises herself as a boy in order to become an apprentice to a mapmaker. Her journey is epic in proportions and in ways echos that of Nour and her family.

Both narratives are about journeys, adventure, heartache, war, darkness, light, and ultimately, family and the search for home. I could read books written in this style of writing all day. Joukhadar had me at the first paragraph when she began describing the “salt” and its symbolism that would feature throughout this stunningly written novel.

Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar is an author to watch, and I am hugging my Kindle.

Thank you to Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar, Touchstone, and Edelweiss for the ARC. The Map of Salt and Stars is available now!

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