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Beirut, 1979. A little girl, Carla, listens in fear to the sound of her city’s martyr under the bombs and shelling. War rages on but this does not stop people spending week-ends at the beach, family reunions, outings to restaurants. Her parents separate. The fighting intensifies and it is time to leave for Cyprus with her grand-parents, leaving her childhood friend and the land of her roots behind. Her mother remarries and this takes them to Brussels, where she discovers Northern Europe, unknown to her, and she is from here on, in exile.

1996. Carla is a grown woman and it is time for her to settle down and have a family of her own. Between these two dates, the nomadic destiny of a Lebanese woman, like so many, between suffering from a never-ending war and the wildest hopes, the strength of a family that has been fragmented around the world, its traditions, and an amazing resilience facing life.

A thoughtful and passionate writer with a natural ability to transport you to another time and place with such ease, truth and grace that you can imagine every detail as if you were right there living the moment. A new publication from Ms Julien is always a cause for readers to celebrate. She takes us away into her own private world.

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