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Samir El-YoussefBut peace is not any nearer. After watching PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shake hands in the famous 1993 White House ceremony, Khalil, unlike the people around him, finds it difficult to conceal his joy: He thinks he's witnessing the end to a long and muddy conflict. But the novel heralds no new beginning and very little hope, and the circular narrative out of which Khalil tries to find his way makes us feel that the characters' deaths will keep recurring. That's bad news for those of us still hoping to see peace prevail in the region, but good material for Khoury, whose bleak sense of history feeds this powerful novel.
— The Washington Post