The Map of Salt and Stars

The Map of Salt and Stars

Book - 2018 | First Touchstone hardcover edition
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"This imaginative but very real look into war-torn Syria is a must." - Booklist (starred review)

This rich, moving, and lyrical debut novel is to Syria what The Kite Runner was to Afghanistan; the story of two girls living eight hundred years apart--a modern-day Syrian refugee seeking safety and a medieval adventurer apprenticed to a legendary mapmaker--places today's headlines in the sweep of history, where the pain of exile and the triumph of courage echo again and again.

In the summer of 2011, just after Nour loses her father to cancer, her mother moves Nour and her sisters from New York City back to Syria to be closer to their family. In order to keep her father's spirit as she adjusts to her new home, Nour tells herself their favorite story--the tale of Rawiya, a twelfth-century girl who disguised herself as a boy in order to apprentice herself to a famous mapmaker.

But the Syria Nour's parents knew is changing, and it isn't long before the war reaches their quiet Homs neighborhood. When a stray shell destroys Nour's house and almost takes her life, she and her family are forced to choose: stay and risk more violence or flee across seven countries of the Middle East and North Africa in search of safety--along the very route Rawiya and her mapmaker took eight hundred years before in their quest to chart the world. As Nour's family decides to take the risk, their journey becomes more and more dangerous, until they face a choice that could mean the family will be separated forever.

Following alternating timelines and a pair of unforgettable heroines coming of age in perilous times, The Map of Salt and Stars is the epic story of one girl telling herself the legend of another and learning that, if you listen to your own voice, some things can never be lost.
Publisher: New York :, Touchstone,, 2018
Edition: First Touchstone hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781501169038
Branch Call Number: FIC JOU
Characteristics: 360 pages : map ; 24 cm


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Mar 01, 2019

I adore this book. It is a captivating story of the parallel lives of 2 young girls, their struggles and their triumphs. I love how beautifully the author tied their two journeys together. Highly recommend!

ArapahoeAlyson Dec 05, 2018

A beautiful debut novel about two girls traveling the same route 800 years apart—one a present day Syrian refugee, the other an apprentice to a mapmaker. Lyrical writing, great characters and fascinating setting!

SPL_Brittany Aug 09, 2018

After the death of her father in New York, Nour's family move back to Syria. The timing could not have been worse. A few months after they move back to Syria, the civil war begins and they are forced to navigate their way as refugees back to safety.

800 years earlier, we meet Rawiya, a girl who disguises herself as a boy in order to become an apprentice to a mapmaker who also takes on a journey of epic proportions in ways that echoes that of Nour and her family.

A leisurely paced novel that due to the dual storylines, unfurls as both a historical and contemporary novel of travel, that is both richly detailed and moving in different ways as we follow Rawiya and Nouri in their travels across the Middle East and Africa. Filled with a well developed cast of characters, it is both a sobering and moving look at the refugee experience, followed by a touch of magical realism in Rawiya's journey. Readers who enjoyed "The Kite Runner", stories of the refugee experience, and novels that are set in the Middle East, are sure to enjoy this novel.

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