The old neighbourhood block in Beirut was home to an ever- changing population as the fighting intensified and lessened. But three people were almost always there.
The older Polish woman, Margo, refugee from her past, her country and family after another war, spinning her tales of freedom fighters, itinerant peoples, despair and courage. And Lebanese born and bred Layla, only recently returned from Australia after fleeing the earlier civil war to teach her students again. Palestinian Kamal; refugee, writer and lecturer, whose cherished faith in a free, tolerant, democratic Lebanon has been shattered by difficulties of living there now.
Among their friends are older politicians, university friends often visiting from lucrative posts in Europe or the USA, and local political activists.
The retaliation raids by Israel and the political aftermath further shatter their community: some flee to the mountains, many leave the country. Some like Layla try to identify more deeply what it is that holds her to this place, why she cannot leave.
Nada Awar Jarrar has written a powerful and moving novel, full of character and insight, of joy and tears, which makes us understand how people can stand such daily fear of violence and can continue to have faith in the country of their heart.
About the Author
Nada Awar Jarrar was born in Lebanon to an Australian mother and a Lebanese father. She has lived in London, Paris, Sydney and Washington DC and is currently based in Beirut where she lives with her husband Bassem and their daughter Zeina. Her first novel, Somewhere, Home won the Commonwealth Best First Book award for Southeast Asia and the South Pacific in 2004.
Praise for 'Dreams of Water': 'The beauty of this novel lies in its images which are vivid and strange, sometimes even fantastical!There is comfort in reading about characters, all of whom are withdrawn and inhibited, yet who are shown as capable of great tenderness.' Times Literary Supplement 'A slow-burning, powerful story of loss and grief' Good Housekeeping 'Twenty years ago, when civil war broke out in Lebanon, Nada Awar Jarrar was forced to flee with her family. Her novel Dreams of Water recasts this experience in a tale about a family whose son goes missing in war-ravaged Beirut' Vogue 'This beautifully written book is powerfully evocative of the human cost of war and the longing for love, that despite the shooting and shelling, never fades.' Economist
Number Of Pages: 277
Published: 1st June 2009
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.1 x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.376