• by Diana Abu-Jaber
  • Narrated by Nike Doukas, Marcelo Tubert
  • 8 hrs and 47 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Half-Iraqi, half-American Sirine is a cook at Nadia's Cafe, which draws the neighborhood's Arab students, expatriates, and exiles. All are hungry for "real true Arab food" and connection to their homes. One is Hanif Al Eyad, a new hire in the Near Eastern Studies Department at the university who fled Iraq as a young man. Sirine and Han fall in love over food: a baklava they make together, delicate lamb dishes, hummus glistening with olive oil.Populated by colorful and memorable characters (the lovely Sirine; the handsome Han; Sirine's story-telling uncle, whose fantasic fables are woven into the novel; a poet named Aziz; Nadia and her daughter Mireille) Crescent explores the universal themes of love and loyalty to countries old and new, to those left behind, and to tradition. Some of the characters are learning to live in one country and let go of another, and some are not: a fact that sparks a surprising ending.


What the Critics Say

"Abu-Jaber's language is miraculous." (Booklist)
"A beautifully imagined and timely novel...Abu-Jaber's poignant contemplations of exile and her celebration of Sirine's exotic, committed make this novel feel as exquisite as the 'flaming, blooming' mejnoona tree behind Nadia's Cafe." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


There are love stories, then there is this one. All that the book reviews have said about this book is true, and then some. I was mesmerized by the narrator's voice, the author's skill at description, the ability to draw me in. Wonderful command of language.
I usually plunge right in on another audiobook, but after this story, I needed time to think about the characters and their situation for a while before I could begin another book.
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- Fran

Narrator robs the text of its poetry

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This is a fascinating story that could have made a very provocative, engaging read. Unfortunately, the flat-line monotony and nasal tones of the reader's "Sirene" allow none of the poetic flow or emotion of the language to shine through. It is very difficult not to drift off in the middle of her unvaried cadence.

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- P. C..S.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-11-2003
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books