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At a glance, you’ll find that Bitter Almonds and Shadows of Damascus are novels inspired by tremulous events in the Middle East. The plot of Bitter Almonds takes place entirely in the Middle East and spans a twenty-two year period, while Shadows of Damascus moves between the Middle East and the United States over several months.
In both novels, I tried to celebrate the human spirit with all its contradictions, showing the complex struggles of regular folk trying to overcome extraordinary circumstances.
Omar is an orphaned Palestinian born into chaos, displaced by violence, and driven by forces beyond his control to find his place in the world. He only has one thing to hold on to: a love that propels him forward and gives him hope.
Nadia is maturing into womanhood in a refugee community in Damascus. She tries hard to cope with the tough realities of her world. But she is confronted with a cruel load thrust upon her by a selfish brother. Will she break out of her traditional social mould to create her own destiny?
Shadows Of Damascus
Bullet wounds, torture and oppression aren’t the only things that keep a man—or a woman—from being whole.
Debt. Honor. Pain. Solitude. These are things wounded war veteran Adam Wegener knows all about. Love—now, that he is not good at. Not when love equals a closed fist, burns, and suicide attempts. But Adam is one who keeps his word. He owes the man who saved his life in Iraq. And he doesn’t question the measure of the debt, even when it is in the form of an emotionally distant, beautiful woman.
Yasmeen agreed to become the wife of an American veteran so she could flee persecution in war-torn Syria. She counted on being in the United States for a short stay until she could return home. There was one thing she did not count on: wanting more.
Is it too late for Adam and Yasmeen?
ABC Treehut in The Hague, The Netherlands, in partnership with HBKU Press, hosted a reading and book signing for Palestinian-American author, Lilas Taha. Ms Taha read from her latest novel, Bitter Almonds. Click here for details.
BITTER ALMONDS is at #9 on the list by Bustle.com for January 2016’s 13 best YA books to read when the snow inevitably falls.
Meet author Lilas Taha on Saturday, January 23, 2 p.m. at your Sugar Land HPB. Lilas will discuss and sign her new novel Bitter Almonds. Hardback copies available for purchase starting January 19 as specially-priced new items while supplies last.
“Lilas Taha’s BITTER LMONDS exemplifies struggle of displacement, power of human spirit.” Author interview and book discussion in Elan Magazine