A Day in the Life of Abed Salama
From Shelf: 2023 long list
'This brilliant and heartbreaking book is a masterpiece. It reads like a novel, yet is all sadly true. I finished it in tears' James RebanksA gripping, intimate story of one heartbreaking day in Palestine that reveals lives, loves, enmities, and histories in violent collisionMilad is five years old and excited for his school trip to a theme park on the outskirts of Jerusalem, but tragedy awaits: his bus is involved in a horrific accident. His father, Abed, rushes to the chaotic site, only to find Milad has already been taken away. Abed sets off on a journey to learn Milad's fate, navigating a maze of physical, emotional, and bureaucratic obstacles he must face as a Palestinian.Interwoven with Abed's odyssey are the stories of Jewish and Palestinian characters whose lives and pasts unexpectedly converge: a kindergarten teacher and a mechanic who rescue children from the burning bus; an Israeli army commander and a Palestinian official who confront the aftermath at the scene of the crash; a settler paramedic; ultra-Orthodox emergency service workers; and two mothers who each hope to claim one severely injured boy.A Day in the Life of Abed Salama is a deeply immersive, stunningly detailed portrait of life in Israel and Palestine, and an illumination of the reality of one of the most contested places on earth.