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When faith and facts collide, Jo March—a young woman born into an Evangelical Christian dynasty—wrestles with questions about who she is and how she fits into the weave of her faithful family. Chasing loose threads that she hopes will lead to the truth, Jo sets off on an unlikely quest across boundaries of language and religion, through chasms of sectarian divides in the Muslim world. Against the backdrop of the War on Terror—travelling from California to Chicago, Pakistan to Iraq—she delves deeply into the past,...
When faith and facts collide, Jo March—a young woman born into an Evangelical Christian dynasty—wrestles with questions about who she is and how she fits into the weave of her faithful family. Chasing loose threads that she hopes will lead to the truth, Jo sets off on an unlikely quest across boundaries of language and religion, through chasms of sectarian divides in the Muslim world. Against the backdrop of the War on Terror—travelling from California to Chicago, Pakistan to Iraq—she delves deeply into the past, encountering relatives, often for the first time, whose histories are intricately intertwined with her own . . . only to learn that true spiritual devotion is a broken field riddled with doubt and that nothing is ever as it seems.
A story of forbidden love and familial dysfunction that interweaves multiple generational and cultural viewpoints, The Sweetness of Tears is a powerful reminder of the ties that bind us, the choices that divide us, and the universal joys and tragedies that shape us all.
Posted December 4, 2012
Posted May 26, 2011
Great Read ! I was captivated by the The Sweetness of Tears and it continued to haunt and heal me much after the last words. Tears were involved but luckily sweet ones :)
This exquisitely written novel takes the reader through an emotional journey full of self-reflection, courage, hope, challenge, learning, acceptance, submission, and ultimately, redemption---universal themes affecting all of us as individuals, as Americans, and above all as human beings. After her highly acclaimed and beloved The Writing on My Forehead (which I read and treasured), Haji has outdone her first achievement with another rich, multi-layered story that is a must read for everyone, especially given the post 9/11 times we live in.
The Sweetness of Tears is a riveting tale that revolves around the life of Jo March, an Evangelical Christian that is courageous enough to challenge her faith and beliefs. Uncovering a haunting, hidden fact about her family, her life is thrown upside-down, setting in motion a mesmerizing journey around the globe that connects her to a different culture and religion than her own and ultimately transforms her to face greater life truths. The story is told from multiple generations and voices---all central to Jo's quest---which deepens the readers understanding of the characters and their perspectives and allows us to appreciate and embrace the complexity of the issues and choices facing Jo.
In the end, this novel is a timely and powerful reminder of our universal potential to face conflict, transcend differences--of religion/country/faith/ideology, and embrace and celebrate the unity and rich diversity of our existence.
Thank you, Haji, for pouring out your heart and soul through your writing.
Posted May 25, 2011
The family of high school student Jo March is Evangelical Christian. However, she has doubts. Adding to her concerns is that she only recently found out who her biological father is. Her dad Sadiq is a Pakistani who met Jo's mother Angela when she went on a soul searching trip years ago.
Now Jo seeks the truth and she hopes inner solace. Following in her mother's footsteps by leaving home, she begins a sojourn to find her roots. This soon means also traveling to the Middle East for her paternal heritage.
The Sweetness of Tears is a complicated family drama that focuses on the convergence of religion, not all in a positive way as clashes and conflict occur in the name of God. The multifaceted story line is diverse as Nafisa Haji looks at the Iraqi War from various strife viewpoints. Yet Jo keeps the multiple plots focused in her quest to learn who she really is as she is the metaphor of peace between religions, cultures, genders and people of all types of backgrounds.
Posted July 3, 2013
No text was provided for this review.
Posted December 3, 2012
No text was provided for this review.