Bride of the Sea

Eman Quotah. Tin House, $16.95 trade paper (312p) ISBN 978-1-951142-45-2
Quotah’s alluring debut follows star-crossed Cleveland newlyweds Muneer and Saeedah through their brief marriage and its lengthy aftermath. In 1970, with a baby on the way and a lively extended family, a dark specter looms over the marriage of the two Saudi Arabian immigrants, as Muneer has doubts about the permanence of their union. Friends since childhood, the couple is inherently mismatched: Saeedah is outspoken and restless, clashing with Muneer’s staunch sense of calm and order. After six years of marriage, the two divorce, and Muneer returns to Saudi Arabia while Saeedah remains in Cleveland with their daughter, Hanadi, now five. Saeedah’s overprotectiveness of Hanadi and resentfulness toward Muneer spur her to disappear with their daughter, and Muneer spends years searching for his child. This estrangement and the inevitable, volatile father-daughter reunion when Hanadi is 17 cause rifts throughout Hanadi’s adult life as she attempts to reconcile with her painful past. The narrative’s delicacy belies the weight of its themes, and descriptions are etched with precision (Saeedah’s “nerves are elastic pulled tight”). Quotah’s resonant, neatly plotted outing will be a treat for readers who love fractured family dramas. Agent: Steven Chudney, the Chudney Agency. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 10/30/2020
Release date: 01/26/2021
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-6620-7529-2
MP3 CD - 978-1-6620-7605-3
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