A Palestinian reimagining of Jane Eyre
Shereen Malherbe will be read more and more as the wind carries her original, powerful, enchanting stories where rarely is a novel just a novel.Yousef Khanfar, Guest Editor, World Literature Today-Palestine Voices
Nominated for the Palestine Book Awards 2022
All too often we are subjected to news of turmoil and conflict in Palestine. By exploring the lived realities of those living under occupation, The Land Beneath the Light presents an alternative. Drawn from the author’s own family experiences of Palestine, Shereen Malherbe showcases the beauty of this war-torn land and its people in her new novel.
It follows Khadija as she comes of age and struggles to come to terms with the trauma of her past and the uncertainty of her future, using her deeply rooted Palestinian heritage to survive.
Through her novel, Malherbe shows that keeping this heritage and the stories of Palestinian people alive is one of the most powerful forms of resistance.
From her rural farmhouse at the bottom of the hilltop surrounded by the Occupation, Khadija’s life changes forever when the shadows descend, causing destruction in her village. In the wake of upheaval and ruin, she draws upon her deeply rooted Palestinian heritage and stories to discover a life she has always dreamed of. A classic coming of age novel, The Land Beneath the Light explores the lived reality of those living under Occupation in Palestine.
“We are hidden here far above the sea, but the angels move the wind across the world, they rescue those who call to Allah on their desert journeys when they are about to be overcome by a murderous sword. These are stories that we tell to remind you. You have inherited much, not just the stories of your past. There is a future with you. Do not lose hope, Children of Palestine. We are not alone, Children of Palestine. We are soldiers of this land and this is where we belong.” – The Land Beneath the Light by Shereen Malherbe
What an ethereal, enchanting coming of age novel. Brimming with intensity, grief and loss, this is a thought-provoking and gut-wrenching account of a young girl, a child of Palestine who ultimately blossoms into a strong, admirable woman of Palestine.
It is an emotional journey, as the plight of the Palestinians are told through the eyes of a strong and capable woman, who understands that life is more than just about chasing your dreams. It is about your faith, your loyalty, and remembering the land that you call home, and above all, in your Creator who blessed you with such a beautiful heritage.
(Khairun Atika via Goodreads)
Shereen Malherbe manages to draw a realistic plot, smoothly moving her characters within the space of place and time, building a compassionate story that catches attention and employs the heart with a feeling of fascination and amusement. It invokes further study and shakes off what many have believed.
(Abdullah Dais, Palestinian literary critic)
“Was captivated by this story within the first few pages”
“Original, powerful, enchanting”
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