Summary

Mornings in Jenin is a multigenerational story about a Palestinian family.
Forcibly removed from the olive-farming village of Ein Hod by the newly formed state of Israel in 1948, the Abulhejos are displaced to live in canvas tents in the Jenin refugee camp. We follow the Abulhejo family as they live through a half century of violent history. Amid the loss and fear, hatred and pain, as their tents are replaced by more forebodingly permanent cinderblock huts, there is always the waiting, waiting to return to a lost home.
The novel's voice is that of Amal, the granddaughter of the old village patriarch, a bright, sensitive girl who makes it out of the camps only to return years later, to marry and bear a child. Through her eyes, with her evolving vision, we get the story of her brothers, one who is kidnapped to be raised Jewish, one who will end with bombs strapped to his middle. But of the many interwoven stories stretching backward and forward in time, none is more important than Amal's own. Her story is one of love and loss, of childhood and marriage and parenthood, and finally of the need to share her history with her daughter, to preserve the greatest love she has.
Set against one of the 20th century's most intractable political conflicts, Mornings in Jenin is a deeply human novel - a novel of history, identity, friendship, love, terrorism, surrender, courage, and hope. Its power forces us to take a fresh look at one of the defining conflicts of our lifetimes.
©2010 Susan Abulhawa (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Neira on 28-03-18

narration let's it down so much

I nearly stopped listening in the first hour or so because of the narrator. She absolutely butchered every Arabic word in the book. The phrases made me cringe and cry out many times in disbelief at such horrible pronunciation. I'm not an Arabic speaker although Muslim so I do know when common islamic words are not said correctly. It would not have taken much work to learn how to say the names and titles she had to use over and over again. It really marred the book for me and I wish I could have read it in print instead but circumstances at the moment don't allow that. It showed to me that the narrator and Audible didn't care enough about this poignant story to give it a decent narration.
The book itself is both lovely and so difficult. I am quite aware of the Palestinian struggle and what those poor people endure, yet at times I had to pause to compose myself and not break down sobbing. The writing at times reminds of Khaled Hoessini which is a massive plus.

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5 out of 5 stars
By jamie f lang on 12-03-18

Really moving.

This was a really moving book. I learnt a lot and it has made me read more about Palestine.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mariechen on 20-05-16

Important, heart-breaking story

Would you listen to Mornings in Jenin again? Why?

Yes! Woodward's voice was not annoying, and I enjoyed her reading. This is the kind of book where you miss a few things the first time, so I would actually listen to it again to take note of the things I missed.

What did you like best about this story?

The relationships were so fantastically captured. I could identify with them even when I didn't have much in common with some characters.

What does Jennifer Woodward bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I liked her accenting of the different POVs. I also presume that her pronunciation of Arabic terms is correct (it sounds correct); whereas if I read it I might have just skimmed over the Arabic terms. I also like that Woodward becomes passionate when Amaal is passionate. This is not an apathetic book, and so the narrator must not be apathetic either.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me laugh a few times, because some of the characters say funny things. And it made me smile warmly at some of the family/friend relationships. But mostly it made me cry many many times; not only because the tragedies were so great, but because I know they are based on reality.

Any additional comments?

I thought I knew a fare bit about the Israel-Palestine conflict, and that I was quite open-minded, but this book taught me so much more. I am glad I listened to it. It was heart-breaking, but I don't regret it. I only regret that humans do such horrid things to one another.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Naila Sherman on 04-11-16

Excellent story

This is a beautifully written and compelling story. As someone who is familiar with the Arabic language, I found the narrator's pronunciation of names and places disappointing. It would have been better to have someone who had a better command of either Arabic or Hebrew.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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