The Blue Between Sky and Water by Susan Abulhawa
Violently pushed from their ancient farming village of Beit Daras, a Palestinian family tries to reconstitute itself in a refugee camp in Gaza. The men here, those who have escaped prison or the battlefields, worry over making ends meet, tend their tattered pride, join the resistance. The women are left to be breadwinners and protectors, too. Nazmiyeh is the matriarch, the center of a household of sisters, daughters, granddaughters, whose lives threaten to spin out of control with every personal crisis, military attack, or political landmine. Her brother's granddaughter Nur is stuck in America; her own daughter's son, traumatized in an Israeli assault, slips into another kind of exile; her daughter has cancer and no access to medicine. Their neighbor, the Beekeeper's wife, will extract the marijuana resin to shrink her tumor, but it is also Nazmiyeh's large heart and zest for life that heals, that will even call Nur back from the broken promise of America and set her on a new path. All Nazmiyeh's loved ones will return to her, and ultimately journey further, to that place between the sky and water where all is as it once was, and where all will meet again.
Born of a troubling history that continues to rage forth and claim its dead, The Blue Between Sky and Water is a novel of survival and of the vivid, powerful women who manage to enlarge and enliven the everyday. It is a novel for our time--and one that is also timeless.