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on 1 March 2015
Not too fast-paced but certainly not too slow-paced and drawn out, this book is vivid and captivating. It explores taboo issues in Lebanon through a rotating first-person narrative, with beautiful imagery appealing to the imagination. A gripping read. I read this in a number of hours...I simply couldn't put it down!
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VINE VOICEon 6 August 2007
This is a story of a Lebanese girl who grows up to suffer much mental illness. She is diagnosed with severe depression-although we are never clearly told her medical diagnosis and treated with ECT. Her mental illness seems to be related to many childhood events and her relationship with her mother.

As a result of this mental affliction, she makes many questionable choices and is a victim of her own vulnerability. This book highlights that as humans, regardless of race we do react similarly when in situations of extreme stress and are subject to the same prejudice.

This is an involving novel and is not at all a light read.
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on 23 September 2008
I found this book rather dull and less than being a story of Zahra it is a disjointed look at her madness. I wanted to like this book but I found the portrait of madness rather cliched and it felt like the mental illness thread to the book had been created to accommodate the writer's lack of ability to put together a cohesive plot and allow for lots of flashbacks and rambling.

At points I found some of the ideas here interesting, particularly how people deal with living in a war zone but the ending was ludicrously predictable.
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on 16 September 1998
This book is extremely helpful in allowing a MidWestern American woman to see the everyday life and culture of a youngwoman growing up in the recently war stricken country of Lebanon. While reading this book, an understanding of cultural differences lets the reader realize that this world is shared by people full of feelings and desires not so different from ones own.
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