Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cypress Trees

House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle EastHouse of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East by Anthony Shadid

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This book is told in two concurrent parts:  Anthony Shadid's family history as shaped by the Levant and the emigration to America, and his restoration of his family's home in Lebanon, also in the context of the disappearance of the Levant and the rise of the troubles of the Middle East.  I enjoyed the story of his family more than the repetition and trials of the difficulties of renovation.  I appreciated the importance of the restoration to him and the arc of the story, but it needed further editing.  This book is most important now as a testament the the loss and absence of this remarkable reporter, so young in his years.  There is a creepy foreshadowing in his restoration:  he was warned not to plant the cypress trees so close to his home, they were trees meant for a cemetery:  doing so meant an early death.

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