“This is all about love,” begins The Sea of Tears, a story that is infused with the sensuality and smarts that have established Nani Power as one of our most compelling writers. This otherworldly novel delves into the tangled relationships and hidden world of people brought together—and torn apart—under extraordinary circumstances: Jedra has fled his native Iraq and is working in the boiler room at the Royale Hotel, where he pines for Phyllis, the front-desk clerk who mysteriously remembers heaven. Khouri, an Iranian engineer, attends a business conference at the Royale, where he meets Patricia, a single mother and hotel maid, and finds himself wanting in ways he never has before. And in the penthouse apartment, young loner Daniel cannot escape his memories of Brazil, and only makes contact with the outside world through room service delivery. That is, until the hotel chef, Leslie Downing, comes knocking on his door.
Harking back to The Arabian Nights and the poetry of Rumi, but with a decidedly modern eye toward the clashing and mingling of cultures, the result is a mesmerizing invitation to take seriously the desires of one’s heart.