In 2004, 27-year-old Stephanie Saldaña traveled to Damascus, 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 Frédéric, 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 Frédéric. But would Frédéric choose God or Stephanie?
“[A] gorgeous and enlightening read, as Saldana’s scholarly knowledge of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism subtly infuse her story. An Eat, Pray, Love for the intellectual set, Saldana’s beautiful memoir should not be missed.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Gracious and moving. A beautifully woven exploration of language and spirituality.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“A remarkable, wise and lovely book from a truly gifted new writer, The Bread of Angels brims with originality and insight. There is poetry here—the language and the depth of attention recall the young Annie Dillard. But this is, above all, a love story, and a compelling one. Not many people can write transcendent, mystical prose and also create a page turner that keeps you up nights. Stephanie Saldaña’s achievement is extraordinary.” (Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Year of Wonders)
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This book is phenomenal.