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