June Rain

Publishing House: Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing

Publication Year: 2014

Genre: Novel

Number of Pages: 304

“June Rain” unfolds on June 16, 1957, in a small northern Lebanese village, where a violent confrontation in a church leaves two dozen lives extinguished. The aftermath of this tragic event splinters the community into two rival factions: the northern-based Al-Ramis and their southern counterparts, the Al-Samaeenis. However, the intricate web of relationships within the village proves resilient, resisting easy severance. Neighbor turns against neighbor, and marital bonds strain under the weight of divided loyalties to clan and spouse.

Drawing inspiration from a real-life incident in his hometown, author Douaihy intricately reimagines the repercussions of that fateful day. Through the eyes of those who either witnessed the killings or found their lives forever altered, the narrative weaves a tapestry of perspectives. A young girl overhears her father lending his gun to cousins, refusing to accompany them to the church. A schoolboy passes by corpses laid out in the village square on beds brought from homes. A conflicted baker, finding his shop on the wrong side of the dividing line, hopes his female patrons will shield him.

At the heart of this kaleidoscopic narrative is Eliyya, who, two decades after relocating to the United States, returns to the village to unravel the story of his father—a victim of the massacre whose life and death remain shrouded in mystery. Douaihy’s storytelling prowess captures the complex emotions and intricate details of that calamitous June day, marked by ceaseless rain, where age-old customs and bonds of village life shattered in the cycle of violence and retribution. The novel invites readers to traverse the labyrinth of human emotions, societal fractures, and the enduring impact of historical tragedies on individual lives.

Read More About Jabbour Douaihy

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