Set during the 1980s civil war in Lebanon, ‘Dreams of Water’ is complusively readable, deceptively simple and overwhelmingly moving.
'If you could tell me just one thing about yourself, what would it be?'She begins, 'I would say that I once lost a brother.'
As a young man disappears, his family is left wondering, hoping, fearing for what may have become of him. It is only through his loss that they begin to truly understand the deep bond of love that ties their family together.
Aneesa, his sister, feels the loss of her brother intensely and, unable to live in the vacuum left by his disappearance, she leaves her home and all she holds dear. She moves to London seeking a new life, new friends, and a release from her sorrow. There she meets an older man, another exile who reminds her of home. Brought together by their shared feeling for their homeland, they form an unlikely friendship. Yet, Aneesa finds she cannot mourn without knowing the truth about her brother's death, she cannot get on with her life without some certainty.
Meanwhile, back home, Aneesa's mother is grieving for her son. Unable to cope with his loss, she resorts to her community's traditional beliefs and imagines he has been reincarnated. Aneesa reluctantly returns home, determined to uncover the truth behind her brother's disappearance, and rekindle the sense of belonging that she left behind.
‘Dreams of Water’ is a moving story of love, loss and family. Set against a backdrop of upheaval and violence, it reminds us of the importance of hope, of love, and of the strength of family.