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The Syrian Virgin: A Young Woman's Journey From War in Syria to Love in New York: Volume 1 (The Syrian Virgin Series) Paperback – 20 Feb 2015
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About the Author
Zack Love graduated from Harvard College, where he studied mostly literature, psychology, philosophy, and film. After college, he moved to New York City and took a corporate consulting job that had absolutely nothing to do with his studies. The attacks of September 11, 2001 inspired him to write a novelette titled “The Doorman,” and heightened his interest in the Middle East. A decade later, that interest extended to the Syrian Civil war, which provided the backdrop for his latest work. In late 2013, Zack began releasing his unpublished works of fiction and became a full-time author. He has published comedy, psychological and philosophical fiction, and romance. Zack enjoys confining himself to one genre about as much as he likes trying to sum up his existence in one paragraph.
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The story follows the life of Anissa, a young Christian Syrian girl who is swept up in the conflict. Her life is ripped apart but secular hatred and she flees to the United States leaving her family and home. She works hard to gain an education which will enable her to help her country, her am to fight for the rights of her people in a country of free speech. Her holds to her beliefs that she will give her virginity to her husband as she promised her father before she fled. At what point though does your virginity become a burden which you could use to help others?
She falls for two very different men, Michael, who shares her heritage and beliefs in fighting to achieve his goals and Julien, the older man who has his own demons.
I cannot praise the writing of Zack Love highly enough, the book was passionate and beautifully written. I look forward to reading the second book Anissa's Redemption, later this year.
Based at the beginning with a family in Syria a mostly Muslim country where Christians fight to be able to live by their faith and been faced daily battle to live as Christians in a Muslim country.
Anissa's father makes plans for her to leave the country and go to America to complete her education, and tell the world her families daily struggle to live as Christians. Plans are foiled when her father is forced to sack an employee of the hospital where he works, but the extremists find out and catastrophic events follow.
Escaping is hard but she manages to get to America with the help of her families connections in Canada and America.
She sets out to complete her education and to tell America and the world of the plight of Christians in Syria.
Her father had seen her potential for this and while studying in America she meets other likeminded people who campaign to tell the world about the struggle and oppression of Christians within Syria, and like all young adults (being just 17) she faces the internal battle to remain pure and not give in to the ways of the modern world she finds herself in.
She must remember the words her parents said to stay pure for her husband, even battling her internal daemons as all teenagers must face growing up in a liberated world.
Brilliant book, giving more insight to persecuted people and the horrors they face daily. Gives amazing story of the struggles this young woman faces, first to leave her country and then to stay pure in mind.
Left on a knife edge and desperate to find out in the next book as the story unfolds.
To be honest I thought this storyline would be a little too heavy for me, a young girl fleeing Syria to get away from the Civil War, having to leave her family behind, after all religion and war is not for the faint hearted but I was so very wrong. This book is a fantastic read and I was drawn into the story right from the very start. Zack's detailed events of the Syrian Civil War and the persecution of the Christian community, although very upsetting at times is absolutely outstanding. I have learned so much reading about the atrocities through the eyes of Anissa. However, don't be put off by this because this is just a small part of it, there is plenty of witty and humorous banter believe it or not.
The book is written as duel POV's, as journal entries both by Anissa (the main character) and Julien her University Professor who also happens to be the founder of a 20 billion dollar hedge fund and the most sort after bachelor in Manhattan (I Love Julien)! Anissa has PTSD and Julien has his own demons to contend with so both characters therapists encourage them to write a journal to help with their acceptance of what troubles them. Had the whole book been Anissa's POV, it was so realist and well written that you would think it was an auto biography.
Anissa, a very bright young intelligent girl, persuaded by her father and mother, flees war torn Syria for a better and safer life in New York. She is taken in by her Uncle and his family until she starts University. Anissa meets Michael a young activist who although has lived in America all his life, has made it his mission in life to make everyone aware of the atrocities being carried out by ISIS in Syria and the Mideast. He strives to be the founder of Antioch, the first Mideast Christian State. Anissa is drawn to Michael because he cares about and wants to help the people being persecuted in Syria, her family being some of them. He is the first man that she has ever been attracted to so unfortunately she cannot see the little things that start to niggle us about him.
At the same time Anissa is also drawn to Julien her University Professor (I mean who wouldn't be) and this is where the witty banter and humour comes into the story, she is 18 and he is 39 so although there is a large age gap, because of what Anissa has witnessed and been through herself, she has an `old head on young shoulders' so the two of them get along very well. Julien, having lived the bachelor lifestyle with his many women and VIP parties, not wanting to commit to any one woman, did something that comes back and bites him on the bottom so to speak which sends the story into a bit of a tailspin. A previous conversation (I won't spoil it for you) regarding the title of the book (wink wink) is revisited at the end of the book which is not quite a cliff hanger but OMG leaves you wanting more!
The Syrian Virgin is one of the best books I have read in a very long time and I sincerely urge you to give it a try, you will not be disappointed.
Thank you Zack for a fantastic read and I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel!
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