When I find I can’t write, I go into reading mode. I recharge my writing batteries by soaking up other people’s words. One thing I have been trying to do of late is diversify my reading fare so that I can access a wider variety of voices and experiences. It has not been disappointing.
In fact, I struggled with last few novels I’d tried to read before beginning to branch out. I found I wasn’t getting into them the way I’d hoped to. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the first couple of books by authors of color have proven to be excellent and well worth my time. I think they will be well worth yours too.
This book begins one year after the death of two teenagers. One is the son of Egyptian immigrants, the other the daughter of their American next-door neighbors. The families shared a close relationship until tragedy struck. That the boy’s family is Muslim is the crux of the story. Once accepted into the community, they have become outcasts. The book shows us the struggles of the parents and their younger son and how all their lives were shattered in so many ways that day.
I was surprised to find how much I liked this book given the heavy subject matter. It follows a girl after she escapes from the Georgia plantation where she is a slave. It is full of heartbreak and hope. And it’s really well written. I devoured it, and am looking forward to reading his other work.