Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Bread of Angels by Stephanie Saldana

The Bread of Angels: A Journey to Love and FaithTitle:  The Bread of Angels: A Journey to Love and Faith
Author:  Stephanie Saldana
Publisher:  Doubleday
Publication Date:  February 9, 2010
Format:  Hardcover, 320 pages
Age Group:  Adult, non-fiction, memoir

In 2004 Stephanie Saldana spent a year living in Syria on a Fulbright fellowship.  Her official area of study was the Muslim Jesus but she found herself taking a very personal, spiritual journey as she came to know the people of Damascus and her own heart.

The Bread of Angels is an absolutely wonderful book.  I feel as if I know the author personally and was there to take the journey with her.  It is clear that Stephanie is a scholar of language, poetry, and faith as her writing flows beautifully, creating strong images and evoking strong emotions.  Although the place Stephanie finds herself and the journey she undertakes were so foreign to me, Stephanie manages to convey our essential human similarities even in the midst of the differences.  She shows us her own initial discomfort with her surroundings and her human failings as she struggles with matters of faith.  Stephanie clearly examines her own Christian beliefs while learning about the Islamic version of Jesus.  She studies Arabic and spends a month praying in a desert monastery.  Stephanie's desire to find her true calling, her life's path, takes her on a journey that most of us cannot imagine but she is able to make it real through her honest prose.  She does not try to hide her doubts or her confusion as she moves through a year of difficult lessons.  The Bread of Angels is a book to meditate with and digest slowly, not one to be rushed through.  It is a book that will provoke thought, emotion, and wonder as you embark on your own journey in the Middle East.

The Bread of Angels officially goes on sale on February 9 but can be pre-ordered now.

I received The Bread of Angels directly from the publisher after I responded to an advertisement in the Shelf Awareness newsletter.  This review is based on a paperback, bound galley, uncorrected proof.  All opinions contained in this review are entirely my own.

Note: All opinions provided on this blog are my own. If a product was given to me for review, the source of that product is noted in the post. Links to Amazon.com are affiliate links and I do earn a small percentage for each item purchased through those links. Any other referral or associate links will be noted within the post.

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