2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2013
I don't think you can make any clearer the cost war and tyranny has for the individual. Not only for the writer herself, but we get vivid portrayals of other people as well, and you can glimpse from the author's perspective how it impacts them.
One of it's strongest points is how the author thinks of what she has gone through. It is deeply human that she lacks perspective of self. She asks in the book why the victims are not more open to talk about what has happened to them, why their culture holds them back. All the while answering the question herself, throughout the whole book she explains how she herself holds back from telling for various reasons what has happened to her, reasons which have nothing to do with culture at all. So at times she can explain clearly why and how there really isn't a cultural difference in reactions to certain events, but at other times it escapes her because some things we just don't want to see. In that, it really gives an insight into the psychology of war.
Not that this was what I was expecting to gain from the book as she was from a privileged family. Don't read it if you're the type of person who gets upset by reading of the realities of war. Had I known she would detail such things before buying it I would probably not have bought it. Not that I'm trying to dissuade the sensitive reader.
A very impactful book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 July 2009
I have just finished this book. It is really so well written and gives a good background on the days of Iraq under the Saddam regime. The author is likeable and paints a very sad picture of the lives of those close to Saddam> Great book well worth a read!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 11 December 2006
This book gives a deep insight in the life under a dictator and how fear can destroy life and families. I was moved by how strong the relationsship can be between a mother and a daughter. Zainab Salbi is a remarkable caracter and I deeply admires her after reading this book. It is a fantastic book. I will read it more than once, and I will make sure that my friends and family will get to know about this book as well.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2011
Having lived and worked in Baghdad around the time Zainab writes, it was fascinating to read her story. And a good and easy read it is too, though extremely harrowing in parts. You almost feel she is talking to you personally.