Thursday, June 29, 2017
Sunday, June 18, 2017
This was very well written and I am glad the author included his exasperation with the lovers. He seemed equal part dealing with teenagers and herding cats for as much as Ali listened to his advice. The author did a really good job in showing us a different culture; both in the mentality behind honor killings, the corruption in people, and the way illiteracy keeps people ignorant and robs them of opportunity. In the story two teenagers, Zakia and Ali, consider the possibility of falling in love. They had been neighbors growing up and grazed their families animals together. One day Ali tells Zakia he loves her and she tells him it's impossible. They come from different tribes, different religious sects, and in their culture the fathers choose the spouse. He then joins the military and while he is gone she ponders the proposal. She decides she loves him and when she goes to tell him she accepts she finds he is gone. He gets into a vehicle accident while on assignment and is sent back home to heal. He gives Zakia a phone and they start talking, he then comes to her house every night until he is caught and the families both beat up their children threatening them that it cannot be. Zakia's parents tell her up front that they will kill her if she dishonors the family. They run off together and after spending 6 months in a woman's shelter Zakia realizes her parents will in fact kill her when given the opportunity. The lovers escape to the hills and then to Kabul living off the kindness of strangers without really considering the danger they bring to everyone they stay with. Along the way they get married and Zakia gets pregnant. The author gets them some contacts in order to file as refugees and get out of the country and saves them numerous time. The lovers are told specifically what to do and never seem to do exactly what they are told so everything is much harder than it needs to be. They were told to take their case to court in the big city of Kabul, but it isn't until Ali is arrested that they finally do and the court sides on the favor of Ali and Zakia so charges are dismissed. They are then told to go to Pakistan to file as refugees so they can escape to another country, but they don't. After living on donations from strangers and putting Ali's father further into debt they are finally convinced to go to Tajikistan, where they lose the rest of their money by repeatabily being robbed by the corrupt police. They make it back to Afghanistan and move back in with Ali's father where 18 people live in their 4 room home. Zakia gives birth to their daughter Raqia and the family pressures Ali and Zakia to finally listen and get to another country because they will never be safe. Zakia's brother was seen in town once winter was over and the family knows it is just a matter of time. The story ends with them (Ali) still deciding what to do.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Saturday, June 10, 2017
This was a hilarious book about the relationship between mother and daughter and how doubly hard it is in Chinese culture. Elaine writes this book as an amusing ode to her mother who has become sick in recent years after being diagnosed with POEMS. She credits her mother for her success and seems to be in constant contact with her throughout the day. Her husband also seems like a saint as he deals with the mother-in-law being the one his wife goes to for advise and guidance, which he gets to follow too. It was a really good book that explores the ties between mother and daughter.
Monday, June 5, 2017
This was a REALLY good book for chicken owners. It was literally an encyclopedia, but I learned a lot! Our chickens currently have mites and I am going to try washing them in a apple cider vinegar rinse and see if that does the trick. There were interesting entries on how much poop a chicken produces a year an how much nitrogen etc is in it at different stages. it listed different minerals a chicken needs and how it should be getting it. I especially loved the entries on all the different calls they make and that they don't have a voice box like humans. Something I want to have in my library!
This was a fast paced globe trotting novel. An American spy during WWII is one of the best in the operation and avoids death while getting into just enough trouble to be convincing. His boss sends him back to Moscow after his cover is blown in France. He rekindles a relationship with a Russian Ballerina that he had fallen in love with 6 years earlier. She never tells him they have a son even when she goes to her death. The spy uses her to send forged documents to her Nazi boyfriend in an effort to get German to invade Russia. She understands that she has to be found as a traitor in order for the documents to seem real. She does this for her country, for the man she loves, and so her son will live in a better world.