On the eve of her daughter Alia’s wedding, Salma reads the girl's future in a cup of coffee dregs. She sees an unsettled life for Alia and her children; she also sees travel and luck. While she chooses to keep her predictions to herself that day, they will soon come to pass as the family is uprooted during of the Six-Day War of 1967.
Salma is forced to leave her home in Nablus; Alia’s brother gets pulled into a politically militarised world he can't escape; and Alia and her gentle-spirited husband move to Kuwait City, where they build a life with their three children. When Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait in 1990, Alia and her family again lose their home and their land, scattering to Beirut, Paris, Boston, and beyond. Soon Alia’s children begin families of their own, again navigating the burdens (and blessings) of assimilation.
Spanning 50 years, Salt Houses is a devastating and lyrical debut about a family in the wake of war, needing to remember and learning to forget.
Price: R337, www.loot.co.za