I, the Divine by Rabih Alameddine

I, the Divine

Rabih Alameddine

Sarah is torn between her past in war-ravaged Beirut and the freedom she enjoys in New York; but she always yearns for where she has left. Neither can she sustain a successful relationship, whether with husband, lover, parents or son. She seeks resolution by writing her memoir, but can't get beyond chapter one. The resulting book is comprised entirely of first chapters as she seeks ways into her past. These shifting perspectives and fresh starts give the book a surprising pace to go with its originality; and while sometimes confusing it flows well and all comes together in the end. A touching and quietly humorous tale.


For someone who had believed the main point of life was relationships, I had done a poor job of living ... I had failed every romantic relationship I had plunged into. The reasons for these failures continued to elude me, but the resulting feelings did not. I sometimes felt like I had been dropped into a sea of overwhelming sadness.

  • Balthasar's Odyssey by Amin Maalouf
  • Journey by Moonlight (Pushkin Paper) by Antal Szerb
  • The Opposite of Fate by Amy Tan

Books with similar mood


Miguel Syjuco

Queen of Dreams

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

My Father's Wives

Jose Eduardo Agualusa

Tenth of December

George Saunders

The Deadman's Pedal

Alan Warner

The Missing Shade of Blue

Jenny Erdal


Jean-Christophe Valtat

Thirsty River

Rodaan Al Galidi

The Bellini Madonna

Elizabeth Lowry

Bear v Shark

Chris Bachelder

How to be Human

Paula Cocozza

Golden Hill

Francis Spuffford

Disaster Was My God: The Scandalous Outlaw Life of Arthur Rimbaud

Bruce Duffy


Jose Saramago


Rachel Cusk

The Lost Dog

Michelle de Kretser

Lucky in Love

David Mourao-Ferreira

The Opposite House

Helen Oyeyemi

Whispers from the Doll's House

Christopher Muir

The Wonder

Diana Evans

The Uninvited

Geling Yan

The Amnesia Clinic

James Scudamore

Making Love

Marius Brill

The Music in My Head

Mark Hudson

Three Kingdoms

Luo Guanzhong


Ahmed Mourad

Pub Walks in Underhill Country

Nat Segnit

The Stars My Destination

Alfred Bester


Ian McDonald

Key to Treehouse Living

Elliot Reed

Em and the Big Hoom

Jerry Pinto

The Maker of Swans

Paraic O'Donnell

Shop Front

Samuel Best

Any Human Face

Charles Lambert


Julya Rabinowich

My Epileptic Lurcher

Des Dillon

The Incredible Adam Spark

Alan Bissett

Big If

Mark Costello


Heather McGowan

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

Michael Chabon


Rosy Thornton

Time Present and Time Past

Deirdre Madden


Enrique Vila-Matas

Seven Houses in France

Bernardo Atxaga

The Finno-Ugrian Vampire

Noemi Szecsi

The End

Salvatore Scibona

The Good Mayor

Andrew Nicoll

Small World

Matt Beaumont


Tom McCarthy