The Confusion of Languages
Life in Amman, Jordan for Army wives Cassie Hugo and Margaret Brickshaw is fraught with peril. For Cassie, the danger looms around every corner: a language barrier, a marriage imploding due to fertility struggles, and a profound fear of the unknown. For Margaret, the city of Amman is a jewel waiting to be unearthed from dusty ground, but her marveling and her admiration often get in the way of her good sense. These two women, unlikely friends, make The Confusion of Languages impossible to put down. From their first encounter, recounted by both of them in different ways, to the surprising turn their relationship takes late in the novel, Siobhan Fallon has crafted two women who seem familiar in their flaws and their failings.
As Cassie struggles to communicate with her husband because their struggle to get pregnant has become bigger than their love for one another, Margaret nurses and tends to a baby her husband didn’t exactly want. While Cassie wants to protect herself from pain and struggle–while also courting a bit of danger in the form of Margaret’s husband–Margaret, perhaps naively, believes kindness will save them all.
The beauty of the description of Jordan’s landscape and people and the parallel of these two women are why The Confusion of Languages deserves to be read over and over again.
G.P. Putnam's Sons