New Book: The Bread of Angels by Stephanie Saldaña

A gorgeous, romantic memoir of a young woman’s year in Damascus, where she studied the Muslim Jesus, fled to an ancient desert monastery to heal her past, and unexpectedly found herself in love with a French novice monk.

In 2004, twenty-seven-year-old Stephanie Saldaña traveled to Damascus, Syria, on a Fulbright fellowship to study the role of the prophet Jesus in Islam. She was also fleeing a broken heart. It was not an ideal time to be an American in the Middle East-the United States had recently invaded Iraq, refugees were flooding into Damascus, and dark rumors swirled that Syria might be next to come under American attack.

Miserable and lonely, Stephanie left Damascus to visit an ancient Christian monastery carved into the desert cliffs. In that beautiful, austere setting, she confronted her wavering faith and met Frederic, a young French novice monk.

As they set out to explore the mysteries entwining Christianity and Islam, Stephanie slowly realized that she had found God again-and that she was in love with Frederic. But would Frederic choose God or Stephanie?

The Bread of Angels sweeps readers into the violent extremes of a war-torn region and renews their belief in faith, self-discovery, and the possibility of true love.

Saldaña is one of those “yes, we can” young people one meets frequently these days: at home all over the globe, intense, earnest, and curious—a stained-glass-window of ethnicities, yearnings, and interests. She is a Mexican-American Catholic from Texas who went to college in Vermont, worked as a news reporter in war zones, then traveled to Damascus on a Fulbright scholarship to learn Arabic and study the Quran. There, she fell in love with a French monk.

Via http://www.newsweek.com/id/233280

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