Author: Scott S. Crye
ISBN: 193207757X (fiction - 9/10)
The following review was contributed by: Paul Lappen & CLICK TO VIEW Paul Lappen's Reviews
Jenna Haabeb is a strong-willed young woman living in
the middle American town of Springfield. She is a
highly respected doctor and medical researcher working
at the local hospital. However, she is also a
Palestinian in post-9/11 America, a place of hostility
and suspicion toward an unknown part of the world.
She has made many friends, including the Larsens;
Catherine works in the same department at the
hospital, while Jack is retired and independently
wealthy. They begin to fill the void in Jenna's life
left by the death of her family due to a "mistaken"
bombing by the Israeli army.
Jenna is a devout Christian who attends daily Mass,
and still dresses modestly, including wearing a
headscarf at all times. There are occasional
get-togethers of all the women in Jenna and
Catherine's department at the Larsen's pool, in which
Jenna is encouraged to "let her hair down." An old
friend of Jenna's from way back, a Frenchman named
Paul, comes to visit, and Jenna turns into a giddy
schoolgirl. He invites Jenna and the Larsens on a
month-long trip to France.
These bonds are severely tested when Jenna is badly
injured in an auto accident. A man running from the
police hits her car head on at a high rate of speed.
Jack stays at her bedside for several days, feeling
that someone should be there when Jenna wakes up.
This is a pretty "quiet" novel about American cultural
misperceptions. It is possible for a cultural
reconciliation amidst fear and ignorance about the
unknown. It's an easy read that is very much worth the
reader's time. Check it out.