From Booklist

In this quiet yet powerful first novel, our unnamed narrator, a young girl who is the daughter of an Iraqi father and an English mother, is growing up in the Iraqi countryside, caught between her parent's cultural differences. Following the death of her best friend and her father's heart attack, the family relocates to Baghdad. When war between Iran and Iraq erupts, the narrator, now a teenager, loses herself in ballet. Life continues to change when her father dies, and she finds love with an Iraqi solider, a relationship complicated by the fact that he is Christian. The affair ends when the narrator accompanies her mother to England as the Gulf War begins. Her mother, suffering from terminal cancer, is going home to die. While caring for her mother, the narrator continues on her journey of self-discovery, making peace with her past and trying to determine her future. This vividly rendered coming-of-age novel reveals the richness and beauty of the Iraqi culture. Linda Zeilstra

YA/M: the perspective of the young woman will draw teens into a fascinating look at another culture. L.Z.

July 2001