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In her peaceful town outside Beirut, Ruba is slowly awakening to the shifting contours within her household: hardly speaking and refusing to work, her father has inexplicably withdrawn from his family; her once-youthful mother looks so sad that Ruba imagines her heart must have withered like a fig in the heat; and Ruba’s older brother has begun to secretly meet with older boys who carry guns. When Ruba decides that to salvage her family she must first save her father, she uncovers a long-buried secret that will send her on a journey away from the safety of childhood and into a brutal reality where men kill in the name of faith and race, past wrongs remain unforgiven, and where nothing less than courageous acts of sacrifice and unity can offer survival.
A Girl Made of Dust is a coming-of-age story sparked, but not consumed, by violence and loss. This strikingly assured debut captures both a country and a childhood plagued by a conflict that even at its darkest and most threatening, carries the promise of healing and retribution.
- Grove/Atlantic, Inc., July 2010
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