cover image The Ninety-Ninth Floor

The Ninety-Ninth Floor

Jana Fawaz Elhassan. Interlink, $15 trade paper (264p) ISBN 978-1-56656-054-2

Through sharp, unabashed prose, Elhassan lets reader into the lives of Majd and Hilda, two people whose families stood on opposite sides of a war and massacre in Sabra and Shatila Camp, Lebanon, on September 16, 1982. The war destroyed Majd's family and left him scarred and mangled both mentally and physically. Majd and Hilda found each other and fell in love in New York years later, but when Hilda feels compelled to visit her family in Beirut, doubts and fears build walls between the lovers. Can they come to terms with the past in time to save their relationship? Will Hilda ever return to Majd? Elhassan's writing reveals the complex, emotional journey Majd must face as he struggles with the horrors of his pregnant mother's violent murder, his own wounds, and a love that is both strong and destructive. Though he and his father escaped the "angry land" of his childhood, the butchery that destroyed his mother and countless other lives followed him to New York, written on his psyche. Anger, passion, and loss dominate the pages of this gripping, emotional novel as the protagonists face the bloody shadows of their pasts. (Nov.)