The latest read from BlogHer Book Club is one I found to be both an enjoyable and a hard read. In The Book of Jonas by Stephen Dau, Jonas (Younis) is a teenage refugee to the United States. From an unnamed Middle Eastern country, his village has been attacked and his family killed during a US mission. As one of the few survivors, he is offered the opportunity to come to America to begin anew.
He arrives in Pennsylvania and is placed with a foster family to finish high school, but recurring issues from his path force him to see a therapist. In therapy, his breakthrough connects him to Rose, the mother of an MIA soldier. This soldier, Christopher, is the one who saved Jonas's life after the attack.
Told from the perspective of Jonas, with the addition of diary entries from Christopher, both men deal with issues of guilt, loss, and redemption, while trying to reconcile the series of events that led to their paths crossing.
My thoughts? I'm still not sure. I enjoyed the book, it's amazing for a debut novel, yet it left me very unsettled at the same time. Maybe because my husband is in the military, so I felt more ties to Christopher, which in turn, left me questioning many of the actions within the novel. I think I still need more time to process it all.