December 31, 2020
The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar
Genre/Categories: Fiction, Mythology, Folk Tale, Magical Realism, Coming of Age, Syrian, Story Within a Story
This year as part of Blog Audit Challenge 2020 I’m going back to update older review posts. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I’m eager to share my review of the compelling The Map of Salt and Stars….a page-turning story with two inspirational female protagonists.
I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
The Map of Salt and Stars is really two stories. One story is contemporary and the other is a mythological folk tale that takes place 800 years earlier. In the contemporary story, Nour’s mother, a Syrian-American, a cartographer and painter of beautiful maps, decides to move Nour and her sisters from New York City back to Syria after the death of Nour’s father. The mother feels a strong desire to live closer to her family. After they arrive in Syria, they experience effects of the civil war evidenced by protests and shelling in their quiet neighborhood. When a shell destroys Nour’s home and neighborhood, she and her family and a close family friend of her father’s are forced to flee as refugees across seven countries of the Middle East and North Africa in search of safety.
The story within the story is a favorite folk tale that Nour’s father told her over and over again as a young girl. Nour loves the main character in the folk tale, Rawiya, who becomes an apprentice to al-Idrisi, commissioned by King Roger II of Sicily to create a map of the region. Rawiya follows al-Idrisi on a journey across the Middle East and the north of Africa where they encounter a mythical beast and fight epic battles.
There are strong connections between the two stories as Nour and her family are forced from their home to travel the identical route that Rawiya traveled eight hundred years earlier. Throughout the journey, Nour remembers and is inspired by the heroine of her favorite folktale as she faces similar challenges and fears.
“I am a woman and a warrior,” Rawiya said, her blade cutting into his club.
“If you think I can’t be both, you’ve been lied to.“
Continue here for my full review of The Map of Salt and Stars ….
Have you read The Map of Salt and Stars or is it on your TBR?
I have this one, I think it just got lost in the shelves though. It sounds great
I think you’d like it, especially the mythology parts!
I adore warrior women books! Adding to my list!
I think you’ll like it…especially the mythological part!
The blending of the two stories together while tied by cartography sounds interesting!
I think you’d love it! Especially the mythological part!
I’ve never even heard of it. But I do like the sound of it and your thoughts about it make me want to take a closer look.
Thanks for re-sharing!
Sunflower Sisters is set during America’s Civil War. Same author as Lilac Girls and Lost Roses.
Please delete the above comment! It was meant to post to someone else!!! 😱
The mythology bit really caught my attention! I’ll be adding this one to my list.
Yes! I think you’d like this story! 👍
[…] The Map of Salt and Stars Review […]