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on Jan. 31, 2013 :
This is fiction that pulls you into reality. Because sometimes it takes a story to make you care.
This novel shows the intersecting lives of college-age women enrolled in the University of Damascus. There are Muslims, Christians, English literature majors, lawyers-to-be. No two characters are the same, thus demolishing our stereotype of the "typical Middle Eastern woman."
As the story progresses, we are effortlessly educated on the geography of Syria, the diversity of religious practices, even food choices and lifestyles.
But it's the people in the story that keep us reading. While differences between them and the stereotypical American may seem great on the outside, the inside struggles and passions are similar across the globe--love, happiness, traditions, God, family.
So I recommend this novel on several levels--for the interesting fiction story that will keep you turning page after page (or digitally clicking), but also for the way it pulls you into caring more about real people in other countries.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Dec. 03, 2012 :
This is a unique story that is very relevant to today. Most people in the West have no idea of what life is everyday like for young people in Syria, or I should say what life was like before the revolution. This story helps us understand the heart behind the people for whom we are or should be concerned these days. Very engaging and enjoyable read as well.
(reviewed long after purchase)