* In the Language of Miracles by Rajia Hassib


In the Language of Miracles starts with the complex premise of an Egyptian-American teenager killing himself and his (non Egyptian-American) girlfriend, and the town taking aim at his family, however well-integrated and accepted it was before the disaster. The story is told mostly from the point of view of the younger brother, who observes his culturally blind father, his grieving mother, and especially his grandmother, who has been staying with them for months trying to help his mother recover. Alas, the book read to me more like a set of didactic chapters about cultural differences than a story of suffering, with suffering rendered in  groans and cliched declarations.

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