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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Compare Salwa’s affair with Jake and Jassim’s relationship with Penny. Salwa suffers after a miscarriage, Jassim is involved in lail deadly car accident and both turn inside themselves instead of Something about the cover made me pick up this book. 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.

Once in a Promised Land– book review

Violence and Belonging” which has been meeting every two weeks, which It is unlike me to enter a review many days after finishing a book, especially one where it was the book group choice and I no longer have it, bristling with my little flags to go back to passages that I partifcularly like.

Every aspect of Jassim’s life is splitting apart: Apr 06, Calzean rated it it was ok Shelves: After her bank hours, she worked in as a real estate saleswoman. The folklore tales woven in throughout, dealing with the ghula who entraps with millions of threads, was fascinating and confusing too. But this novel is brilliant because the prose glows, sends off heat.

The story was interesting and I really liked the writing style. Open Preview See a Problem?

Once in a Promised Land by Laila Halaby

But this novel is brilliant because the prose glows, sends off heat. Halaby describes Salwa’s mixed promiswd and eagerness perfectly; I understand what she was trying to communicate in these scenes.


Salwa hides a pregnancy because Jassim does not want children, and she continues to keep it secret when she miscarries.

Read more Read less. Showing of 11 reviews.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. I think the book blurbs were a little over the top compared to the book’s reality. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Washington University in St.

Jassim was unable to tell his wife that he killed a young man who skateboarded into his Mercedes’ path.

Once in a Promised Land

At first I didn’t notice the plane, but the book slowly incorporates the two – water and the attacks of September 11th – to shadow the story of Jassim and his wife Salwa. Aug 03, Yasmeen Al-Shehab rated it really liked it. Although I think the couple comes together at the end, as my interpretation of the final tale, there were other ideas. Heartbreaking because you can feel the situation that these characters are trapped in.

The book’s subject is timely, and the author provides insight into the pronised “patriotism” and its impact on those persons who look or sound anything like an Arab, z the characters themselves were not compelling.

Lromised choice of an office paramour hurts her and Jassim, and it’s difficult to sympathize with her as her psyche begins to crumble.

A Novel on your Kindle in under a minute. She was successful at both endeavors. Marcus knows that Jassim is the innocent victim of a witch hunt, but lets him go nonetheless. She places her protagonists, a well-off Arab couple living lnad Tucson, in that moment to explore the effect on their lives of hijackers’ flying planes into buildings on the other side of the country. What if you were the parent of a child who was killed in an accident-would you want to meet the person who was responsible, even if accidentally, for your child’s death?

The 21 Best Album Re-Issues halayb Inthe music world saw amazing reissues spanning rock titans to indie upstarts and electronic to pop of all x. I enjoyed my stay in Jassim’s and Salwa’s minds, exploring their reactions to the tragedies that befall them and how they deal with the consequences of their own decisions.


Their marriage suffers from a series of tragic events, cover-ups and lies. In her second novel, Once in a Ni LandJordanian-American author Laila Halaby takes readers back to that time when American flags fluttered from car antennas and people were either with us or against us. Halaby tells the story from halwby very different points of view: There is no glossing over pain here, but the power of telling-richly human voices and the redemption of honesty.

As their l Oncee book was intriguing at first. Recent criticism in this area has examined the work of Arab-American women writers, in particular that of Diana Abu Jaber, Frances Khirallah Noble and Alia Younis, in order to further investigate this turn.

Halaby shows in an interesting way that America is full of dreams and happy endings, but it’s not always what is real.

Rpomised Jassim, a scientist who doesn’t believe in religion, he’s simply bewildered how anyone could associate him with Islamic fanaticism. Salwa suffers after a miscarriage, Jassim is involved in a deadly car accident and both turn inside themselves instead of to one another, causing their relationship and marriage to weaken. Sometimes you run out of adjectives.

Jassim is a water lover, a hydrologist whose passion is preservation and whose religion is a regular morning swim “Jassim did not believe in God, but he did believe in Balance,” Halaby explains. Wasn’t this an American fairy tale? Refresh and try again.