Through the Palace Keyhole
By Ann Hutchison Sawalha
2014, Medina Publishing, 978-1-90933-9-347, $15.99 pb.
Reviewed by Kay Hardy Campbell on November 15, 2019
When Ann Hutchison met Jordanian Sami Sawalha in 1956 in Detroit, where they were students, the American had no idea of the adventurous turn her life was about to take when, as newlyweds two years later, they would move to his home country. His family operated hotels in Amman, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and the young couple mostly lived in those places, carving out a private life for their own growing family. Like no other family member, Ann played important roles in the business when needed. History unfolded around them, and she describes their experiences in detail as if she is speaking to a friend. She and her husband lived in Jerusalem during the Six-Day War in 1967 and continued to run their hotel there until they sold it in 1970. The family’s hotels in Amman include the Grand Palace, which continues to thrive today.