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[[ Read Epub ]] ¿ The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears Ü A haunting and powerful first novel that views the streets of Washington, DC and Addis Ababa through the eyes of Sepha who, seventeen years ago, fled Ethiopia during the Revolution, and now runs a failing convenience store in a poor African American neighborhood in Washington Published as The Beautiful Thing That Heaven Bears in the USA, Canada and Australia and as Children of the Revolution in the UKSeventeen years ago, Sepha Stephanos fled the Ethiopian Revolution after witnessing soldiers beat his father to the point of certain death, selling off his parents jewelry to pay for passage to the United States Now he finds himself running a grocery store in a poor African American neighborhood in Washington, DC His only companions are two fellow African immigrants who share his feelings of frustration with and bitter nostalgia for their home continent He realizes that his life has turned out completely different and far isolated from the one he had imagined for himself years ago Soon Sepha s neighborhood begins to change Hope comes in the form of new neighbors Judith and Naomi, a white woman and her biracial daughter who become his friends and remind him of what having a family is like for the first time in years But when the neighborhood s newfound calm is disturbed by a series of racial incidents, Sepha may lose everything all over again Told in a haunting and powerful first person narration that casts the streets of Washington, DC and Addis Ababa through Sepha s eyes, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears is a deeply affecting and unforgettable debut novel about what it means to lose a family and a country and what it takes to create a new home Published as The Beautiful Thing That Heaven Bears in the USA, Canada and Australia and as Children of the Revolution in the UK Winner of the Guardian UKbook award Beautifully written story of an ethiopian immigrant in DC For me it perfectly captured the alienness of belonging to two cultures and therefore belonging to none Wished the ending offered some closure. This is a magnificently simple book Deceptively simple, like the Old Man and the Sea, in that you breeze through it and think nice story but when you pause for one moment and think about it, you realize that it is so muchthan a nice story.A blend of the political uncertainties and accompanying atrocities of the African continent with the ever present class struggles overlaid by racial tension of America The parallels and similarities are clear but woven through the book in a way that This is a magnificently simple book Deceptively simple, like the Old Man and the Sea, in that you breeze through it and think nice story but when you pause for one moment and think about it, you realize that it is so muchthan a nice story.A blend of the political uncertainties and accompanying atrocities of the African continent with the ever present class struggles overlaid by racial tension of America The parallels and similarities are clear but woven through the book in a way that respects the readers abilities to understand them on their own.It is also a tale of immigrants blending together the lives they left behind with the lives they are leading with the lives they want to have and justifying the possibilities.It is a sensitive book and a kind book, full of passion yet gently written It is a book that causes thought but one cannot say it is a clever book Clever implies that games were played and to say that about this book would be a jab to its heart Big disappointment This is all about an Ethiopian refugee who s now been in Washington DC for 17 years and runs a grocery store in a poor neighbourhood Now the author must know whereof he speaks, but I could hardly believe the picture he painted In 17 years, we are to understand that Sepha, our immigrant, has made precisely two friends And these two friends have only made two friends each other And none of these three immigrant friends have got married or had any long term relationships Big disappointment This is all about an Ethiopian refugee who s now been in Washington DC for 17 years and runs a grocery store in a poor neighbourhood Now the author must know whereof he speaks, but I could hardly believe the picture he painted In 17 years, we are to understand that Sepha, our immigrant, has made precisely two friends And these two friends have only made two friends each other And none of these three immigrant friends have got married or had any long term relationships Really Their lives have been lived in a state of suspended animation otherwise known as mild coma, life as it is lived when you can t find the remote control I may be as far as it is possible from being an Ethiopian immigrant, but I could not believe this stuff The other thing is that this novel is relentlessly downbeat You scour the pages for an echo of an upbeat oh, was that one Nah Everything goes from bad to worse If a little sprig of hope grows up as in the lovely friendship between Sepha and his neighbour s daughter you can be sure it will be squashed without mercy a few pages down the line Eventually well, actually quite quickly this novel wears out its welcome Sepha is such a refined, Dostoievsky munching languid deadbeat He can t be arsed to open up his shop most of the time He lets everything fall into graceless decay, and that s okay by him because well, because of the ghastly trauma suffered back in Addis Ababa when his father was shot as an imperialist lackey That s bad all right, and it might be enough to paralyse the son s life So okay, make this guy a minor character in some other Ethiopian immigrant s story, instead of making us wade through 228 pages of moping about wow what a compact, melancholy little novel written in overlapping layers as the narrator grapples with what has become of his life, it s almost like a snowglobe of sadness, isolation, regret, and loss shake it, and you see fragments of Sepha s family life in Addis Ababa shake it again, and you see fragments of his friendship with two other African immigrants, apparently his only close and sustained friendships in America shake it yet again, you see him navigate with poignancy a new friends wow what a compact, melancholy little novel written in overlapping layers as the narrator grapples with what has become of his life, it s almost like a snowglobe of sadness, isolation, regret, and loss shake it, and you see fragments of Sepha s family life in Addis Ababa shake it again, and you see fragments of his friendship with two other African immigrants, apparently his only close and sustained friendships in America shake it yet again, you see him navigate with poignancy a new friendship with the biracial daughter of the white woman who moved into the neighborhood and you see him navigate his complex feelings of attraction to the white woman shake it again and you see the complexity of a typical DC neighborhood left to rot after the 1968 riots and struggling now with creeping gentrification Sepha is not really one of the people of the neighborhood, despite having lived there for a long time, and the white woman, Judith, definitely is not Judith is part of the scorned they in the neighborhood where i lived in DC for eight years they myself included even though i bought my house before gentrification took off and i failed to renovate until i wanted to move were called new people, which always made me laugh because it only ever referred to white people a black person moving in to the neighborhood and fixing up a house was never called new people The Logan Circle that Mengestu described through Sepha s story rang true with me and made me wish we hadsuch literary gems about DC We have an overabundance of spy thrillers, crime thrillers, voyeuristic tales about the movers and shakers in government, lobby firms, white shoe law firms, etcwhich turns DC into a bit of a caricature DC is so muchthan that it s a small city that happens to hold the seat of government, but it s full of neighborhoods full of normal everyday people who cover the spectrum of socio economic status from chronically homeless and possibly psychotic to large populations of immigrants working three jobs to black or white middle class to ridiculously wealthy, white or black the neighborhoods of DC have been rather segregated for decades now, but something happened in the late 1990s that turned the tide broken down neighborhoods that had been neglected for nearly two generations suddenly became desirable Disenfranchised people suddenly found themselves threatened with dispossession, if not dispossessed Young, middle class people priced out ofappropriate neighborhoods, see a chance to live in the city and become part of it but have to struggle with invisible barriers they don t understand Developers and the Office of Tax and Revenue see a grand opportunity, in some cases razing entire neighborhoods that had been the home of entrenched open air drug markets for at least twenty years in order to build beautiful modern office buildings, high scale apartments and condos, and a new baseball stadium Mengestu captures this dynamic in a subtle, frank way that left me wishing thatwriters would take the time to write about this DC