Let me warn you. I had difficulty writing this review because I don’t want to come off ignorant or offend anyone so I felt I needed to choose my words very carefully. So bare with me.
What a heavy and hard read. I can’t put into words the frustration you feel when you read this… being a woman. Not living in that culture and looking from the outside, you just want to scream and show all the women in this novel their worth. I had to keep reminding myself that this is their culture and they know no other way of life which unfortunately continues to get passed down.
Rum has taken a risk in sharing the part about her culture that you aren’t allowed to talk about, let alone publish a successful book about.
She takes us into the lives of Isra, Fareeda and Deya. Women, in their culture, are taught to marry young, bare children… male children, cook, clean, act a certain way towards males, be at the mercy of their husbands and have their voices silenced. Their dreams of a life of freedom are looked down upon, their ideas ignored, and are put down or beaten for having an opinion about the most mundane of things.
Rum takes us through the lives of these 3 women, their happiness, their pain, their hope and their bravery. We see the huge lack of love and compassion throughout, so much unhappiness but… there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It is a heartwrenching read but a powerful one.