Where Jasmine Blooms
by Holly S. Warah
From the suburbs of Seattle to the villas of Jordan and the refugee camps of the West Bank, Where Jasmine Blooms is an emotional journey of love and selfhood, telling the story of the Mansours, a sprawling Arab American family, and the women married into it.
American-born Margaret Mansour wants nothing more than to rekindle the struggling twenty-year marriage to her Palestinian husband, Ahmed—but not if it means uprooting their home and children in America and moving halfway across the world.
Young and ambitious Alison Mansour has a degree in Near East Studies, but her American education and Syrian background are of no use when her new marriage begins to crumble under the weight of cultural and religious differences. The communication between Alison and her husband is already shaky; how will they cope with the arrival of their first child?
Zainab Mansour, the matriarch of her family, never expected to live in America, but after the death of her husband she finds herself lost in a faithless country and lonely within the walls of her eldest son’s home. She wants what’s best for her children but struggles to find her place in a new landscape.
Emerging from the interwoven perspectives of these three women comes a story of love and longing, culture and compromise, home and homeland. Exploring the complex political backdrop of the Middle East from a personal perspective, at its heart this insightful narrative contemplates what it means to be a family.