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The Bread of Angels: A Journey to Love and…
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The Bread of Angels: A Journey to Love and Faith

by Stephanie Saldaña

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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
All the heart and fascination of [b:Eat, Pray, Love|19501|Eat, Pray, Love|Elizabeth Gilbert|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1269870432s/19501.jpg|3352398], but with even more intelligence. Adore this book, cannot recommend it highly enough. ( )
  KatieANYC | Apr 2, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
It took me a bit to finish this book, as it was not fiction, but a very detailed and flowing memoir. After finishing the book, I wish I went on the journey Stephanie did! I found her story intriguing and her actions brave. ( )
  AObenhaus | Jan 30, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I enjoy both memoirs and travelogues and this book is a combination of both. A divinty student, Saldana went to Damascus on a Fulbright Scholarship in 2004 to study Islam. When she arrived in Syria she was lonely and depressed but Damascus and the people she met there lead her on a journey of healing and self discovery. The book isn't just about her experiences, it includes the fascinating history of Damascus and gives the reader a better understanding of the people who live there. ( )
  clue | Jul 25, 2010 |
In Bread of Angels Stephanie Saldana spends a year studying Arabic in Damascus. She starts out lonely and lost about what she wants to do with her life. Her Arabic studies are difficult to say the least and she soon learns that the archaic Arabic she is learning to study the Quran is all but useless in the streets. 9/11 happens and the the US invades Iraq, making it a bad time to be an American in Syria. Eventually Stephanie retreats to a beautiful and ancient Christian monastary in the desert where she confronts her crisis of faith head on and falls in love with a French novice monk.

Bread of Angels is the best kind of memoir, unflinchingly honest with the clearer vision of hindsight. Stephanie writes of the places she traveled with stunning descriptions but it is the people she introduces who will stay with you and feel like friends by the end. I felt I knew her crazy landlord, the Iraqi artist she befriends, and the amazing women in the mosque who she teaches English to. The story is part travelogue, part spiritual quest, and part love story and I really enjoyed it.

I listened to the audio version of this book. It was beautifully and expressively read by Cassandra Campbell. This is one of those narrations that is so spot-on its hard to believe it isn't the author telling you the story herself as you sip glasses of tea together. ( )
1 vote frisbeesage | Jun 10, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A very lyrical, graceful memoir. Sometimes I felt dislocated -- her sense of time as the story unfolds feels a bit choppy. But I related deeply to her search for meaning and peace, and I enjoyed her descriptions of the people and places. ( )
  MindfulOne | May 21, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385522002, Hardcover)

A riveting memoir about one woman's journey into Syria under the Baathist regime and an unexpected love story between two strangers searching for meaning.
 
When Stephanie Saldaña arrives in Damascus, she is running away from a broken heart and a haunted family history that she has crossed the world to escape. Yet as she moves into a tumbling Ottoman house in the heart of the Old City, she is unprepared for the complex world that awaits her: an ancient capital where Sunni and Shia Muslims, Christians, Alawites, Kurds, and Palestinian and Iraqi refugees share a fragile co-existence.

Soon she is stumbling through the Arabic language, fielding interviews from the secret police, and struggling to make the city her own. But as the political climate darkens and the war in neighboring Iraq threatens to spill over, she flees to an ancient Christian monastery carved into the desert cliffs, where she is forced to confront the life she left behind. Soon she will meet a series of improbable teachers: an iconoclastic Italian priest, a famous female Muslim sheikh, a wounded Iraqi refugee, and Frédéric, a young French novice monk who becomes her best friend.

What follows is a tender story of a woman falling in love: with God, with her own life, with a country on the brink of chaos, and with a man she knows she can never have. Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, The Bread of Angels celebrates the hope that appears even in war, the surprising places we can call home, and the possibility of true love.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:59 -0400)

A romantic memoir of a young woman's year in Damascus. In 2004, 27-year-old Stephanie Saldana traveled to Syria on a Fulbright fellowship to study the role of the prophet Jesus in Islam. She was also fleeing a broken heart. It was not an ideal time to be an American in the Middle East--the United States had recently invaded Iraq, refugees were flooding into Damascus, and dark rumors swirled that Syria might be next to come under American attack. Miserable and lonely, Stephanie left Damascus to visit an ancient Christian monastery carved into the desert cliffs. In that beautiful, austere setting, she confronted her wavering faith and met Frederic, a young French novice monk. As they set out to explore the mysteries entwining Christianity and Islam, Stephanie slowly realized that she had found God again--and that she was in love with Frederic. But would Frederic choose God or Stephanie?--From publisher description.… (more)

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