Celestial Bodies is set in the village of al-Awafi in Oman, where we encounter three sisters: Mayya, who marries Abdallah after a heartbreak; Asma, who marries from a sense of duty; and Khawla who rejects all offers while waiting for her beloved, who has emigrated to Canada.
These three women and their families witness Oman evolve from a traditional, slave-owning society slowly redefining itself after the colonial era, to the crossroads of its complex present. Elegantly structured and taut, Celestial Bodies is a coiled spring of a novel, telling of Oman's coming-of-age through the prism of one family's losses and loves.
WINNER of the 2019 International Booker Prize
It is very easy to fall in love with the colourful cast of character’s Jokha Alharthi has created in this multi generational tale. At the centre of everything there are three sisters. Inscrutable Mayya, bookish yet spirited Asma and Khawla, the beauty of the family who’s foolishness and romanticism will exacerbate the reader even as they are desperately willing everything to work out for her. Celestial Bodies is an engrossing family saga and a fascinating glimpse into upper class Omani society on the cusp between tradition and modernity. Emilie