|Twin brothers Saleh and Samir Salam are born into a land of olive oil and guns. As he is being swept away to safety by a U.S. Marine helicopter in 1983, Saleh stares in horror at Samir, who is standing in a cloud of swirling dust, waiting to be brought aboard. Their story, crisscrossing between Beirut and Brooklyn, is revealed in twin strands of conflicted loyalties and displaced dreams as each man must decide for himself where he truly belongs.
"In her wonderfully detailed parallel portraits of the brothers Salam, Gail Chehab deftly lays bare the tensions between tradition and change, Muslim and Christian, Beirut and Brooklyn. Chehab's compelling coming of age story of twin brothers, separated by war and the clash of cultures, is not only an unforgettable novel, but also an inside look at the effects of globalization on the lives of ordinary people." -- Maxine Paetro
"Both timeless and contemporary, The Echo of Sand is a novel about the yearning for a place to call home. Saleh and Samir are Lebanese twins, separated in a time of war. In America Saleh finds success but no happiness in the American dream. Left behind, discontented Samir longs for New York and a chance to become a filmmaker. Abeba is a Kenyan girl taken from her home in a village slum to work in a laundry and then to New York where she cleans offices.
"Saleh, Samir and Abeba are members of 'a generation lost in rubble,' a generation displaced by war and poverty. Despite suffering and alienation, they never give up hope and their determination to find the place where they can set down roots again and flourish is both heart rending and inspiring.
"The Echo of Sand is about memory and disillusionment, the loss of traditions and the painful creation of new ones. Rich in the sights and smells of the Lebanese and African immigrant life, the book hums with a vibrant and irresistible authenticity." --Drusilla Campbell