I, the DivineBook - 2002
I, THE DIVINE is a novel purportedly opening as a memoir, made up of first chapters as the protagonist, Sarah, struggles to find a way to tell her story but abandons each different perspective, be it her own aged 7 or 17 or her adult sister¿s many years later.
As first chapter follow first chapter Alameddine builds up a rich portrait, not only of Sarah but of her extraordinary extended hybrid family formed by divorce and remarriage, of Beirut in wartime, of her mother¿s suicide, her sister¿s madness, her ex-husbands, her son. The device works wonderfully, building up layers of Sarah¿s story in a manner which is subtle, fresh, intriguing and accessible. We are left with the portrait of a dignified, passionate and determined woman who is trying to carve a fragile peace for herself despite growing up amidst political turmoil and internecine struggle.