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.

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The story was interesting and I really liked the writing style. I expected to be transfixed, the way the move exquisite novels can transfix a person, and I laola wasn’t.

Once in a Promised Land

Feb 26, Jennifer Plante rated it it was amazing. This intimate account of two parallel lives is an achingly honest look at what it means to straddle cultures, to be viewed with suspicion, and to struggle to find save haven. A rich and unsettling read. Like the people we onc in real life, her characters can be endearing and irritating. Jan 15, Pages Buy. Customers who bought this item also bought.

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. Why can’t Salwa see the negative side of promiseed that is so obvious to other people Lakla and Randa for example? The 60 Best Songs of The book had a tendency to repeat itself by telling another person’s view of the story. Poetry Arab American Writing. There are parts promided the story that seem unnecessary, like Salwa’s ex-boyfriend’s point of view thrown in here and there, but overall, it is interesting to see the way Haliby chose to portray these individuals and the way they handle their own personal tragedies.


But I have been enjoying the series and the discussions so much and wanted to stick with it.

Poetic, but not overly-flowery. What is missing in their marriage that they are seeking elsewhere?

If you are interested in reading another story about the immigrant experience in America, check this out. The story of a Jordanian couple living the US, and the events that transpire after September 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.

Chosen as a community read for the city of Port Townsend, Washington.

Once in a Promised Land by Laila Halaby

Jassim, trying to cope with the guilt and shame over taking someone’s life, is at the same time dealing with sudden hostility and suspicions from his co-workers and the scrutiny of the FBI as well. Horsemen of the Sands. Heartbreaking because you can feel the situation that these characters are trapped in. Halaby describes her realization:.


Jassim hits a teenage boy with his car. You see the man swimming in the water, but the shadow is of an airplane. Both struggle promisdd how much they have adapted to American culture, how much of their heritage they have sublimated in favour of buying into the American dreams of “freedom” and “peace.

Halaby tells the story from two very different points of view: This book is a great read.

Beacon Press; Reprint edition January 15, Language: In her writing Halaby seeks to dispel the widely-held myths and misconceptions about Palestinian, Arabic and Muslim people and have readers see her world from the lannd.

Marcus, Jassim’s boss, fires Jassim because his clients are scared off by the FBI investigation and the company is losing contracts.

Once in a Promised Land– book review

There’s no “they lived happily ever after”? Can you think of a time in your own life when you had to deal with frustrating circumstances that were outside your control? Dec 17, Cara rated it did not like it.