The Night Counter by Alia Yunis
There is something so enchanting about the colorful stars against the bright blue cover, don’t you think? Well, it was enough to catch my attention. I was captivated by the vibrant cover; it brought out a lot of energy and optimism in me, for some reason.
And I found this one below, when I got online and looked for other versions of the book cover. It’s the magnificent crescent against the blue sky that does the trick for me on this edition. I love the moon, I so do.
In comparison, though, it’s the cover with the colorful stars that win my heart here.
Moving on from the cover to the summary of the book, here’s what I found on Shelfari –
After 85 long years, Fatimah Abdullah is dying, and she knows when her time will come. In fact, it should come just nine days from tonight, the 992nd nightly visit of Scheherazade, the beautiful and immortal storyteller from the epic The Arabian Nights . Just as Scheherazade spun magical stories for 1,001 nights to save her own life, Fatima has spent each night telling Scheherazade her life stories, all the while knowing that on the 1,001st night, her storytelling will end forever. But between tonight and night 1,001, Fatima has a few loose ends to tie up. She must find a wife for her openly gay grandson, teach Arabic (and birth control) to her 17-year-old great-granddaughter, make amends with her estranged husband, and decide which of her troublesome children should inherit her family’s home in Lebanon–a house she herself has not seen in nearly 70 years. All this while under the surveillance of two bumbling FBI agents eager to uncover Al Qaeda in Los Angeles. But Fatima’s children are wrapped up in their own chaotic lives and disinterested in their mother or their inheritances. As Fatima weaves the stories of her husband, children, and grandchildren, we meet a visionless psychic, a conflicted U.S. soldier, a gynecologist who has a daughter with a love of shoplifting and a tendency to get unexpectedly pregnant, a Harvard-educated alcoholic cab driver edging towards his fifth marriage, a lovelorn matchmaker, and a Texas homecoming queen. Taken in parts, Fatima’s relations are capricious and steadfast, affectionate and smothering, connected yet terribly alone. Taken all together, they present a striking and surprising tapestry of modern Arab American life. Shifting between the U.S. and Lebanon over the last hundred years, Alia Yunis crafts a bewitching novel imbued with great humanity, imagination, and a touch of magic realism. Be prepared to be utterly charmed.
As good as the story seems, it doesn’t get on my wish-list just yet because it sounds too overwhelming to me – what with so many sub plots and too many characters. I might change my mind once I take the time to read a few reviews, but since reading itself has taken a backseat in life, it will be a while before I get to this book.
Did the cover(s) charm you? Do you plan to read the book or have you read it already? Do share.