Small KingdomsBook - 2010
Set in Kuwait between the two Gulf wars, "Small kingdoms" beautifully evokes both character and place. As the novel opens, Mufeeda, a well-to-do Kuwaiti housewife, is interrupted from her morning prayers by a loud crash. Is it the Iraqis, or just clumsy cook Emmanuella breaking another dish? Mercifully, it’s the latter, but war is never far from Mufeeda’s mind. Her neighbor Kit, an American living in Kuwait with her husband and family, is equally unsettled by a regular siege of foreign sounds. She’s never sure if it’s a lightning storm—like in her native Oklahoma—or a Scud missile. At the nearby hospital, Theo, a doctor from northern California, ignores frequent memos warning him of impending invasions. His new Arab girlfriend, Hanaan, already gives him enough to fret about, with her impassioned opinions and dangerously overprotective family. (Her brother, a fundamentalist Muslim, beats her for dating an American.) Hobbet, who spent several years in Kuwait, vividly renders both the stark landscape of the Middle East and its class disparity, from Mufeeda, a doctor’s wife with a slew of servants, to Emmanuella, a poor Indian driven to desperate measures when a maid at a nearby residence is being abused. An eloquent, haunting, and enlightening novel.
Publisher: Sag Harbor, NY : Permanent Press, c2010
Description: 344 p. ; 23 cm
Branch Call Number: Hobb