Friday, May 25, 2012

Daughter of Iraq

Author info via Amazon
Revital Shiri-Horowitz is an experienced teacher and presenter to Jewish communities and audiences. Using her own life story and excerpts of her novel, Revital Shiri-Horowitz generates a warm and uplifting experience for the listener. Her overall mission is to connect her audiences to their roots so that they can be closer to themselves.
Revital Shiri-Horowitz was born and raised in Israel. As a kid, she wrote poetry and short stories. She's been writing in her journal almost every day since she was nine years old, and up to the time she met her husband, but never imagined that one day she would become a published author in more than one language, and in so many countries, and even continents.
Revital went on to earn a BA in Hebrew Literature and Geography from Tel Aviv University, an MA in Geography from Haifa University, and an MA in Hebrew Literature from Tel Aviv University.
She was an assistant professor of Geography in Haifa and Tel Aviv Universities, and has been an editor for Hebrew-language books.
Based in Seattle, Washington, and in Israel, Revital is the mother of four boys, married to Amnon for twenty years, writes poetry, runs a blog in "Haaretz," an Israeli newspaper, and is working on a second novel.
More facts:
* Born in Israel to Jewish Iraqi immigrants.
* Lived with a large extended Iraqi family, upon whom much of this book is based.
* Lived most of her life in Israel.
* Served in the Israeli Army.
* Earned BA's in Hebrew Literature and Geography from Tel Aviv University.
* Earned her MA in Geography from Haifa University.
* Earned her MA in Hebrew Literature from Tel Aviv University.
* Was an assistant professor of Geography in Haifa and Tel Aviv Universities.
* Taught Hebrew to foreign exchange students at Haifa University.
* Taught Hebrew in London, England to elementary school students.
* Has written diaries, poems and short stories throughout her life.
* Has edited a poetry book and children book in Hebrew.
* Has been married to Amnon for 20 years, and is the proud mother of four
boys between the ages of 18 and 7.
She loves to write and connect with people. Revital loves to travel and explore new places, and loves her dog Sheleg (snow in Hebrew).
Book blurb via Goodreads
“Daughters of Iraq” is the compelling story of three women from the same family. It is the story of emigration from Iraq to Israel as experienced by two sisters: Violet, whom we learn about through a diary she kept after being diagnosed with a critical illness, and Farida, whose personality unfolds through her relationship with her surroundings, and with herself. The third character is Noa, Violet’s daughter and a student, a young woman in her twenties who is searching for meaning. Noa embarks on a spiritual quest to the past, so that she can learn how to build her life in the present and the future

My review
So let's get something straight, I love reading fiction.  It is primarily my reading material of choice.  I am blond, shallow and easily entertained.  That said I am also not a total idiot.  So at times I really get lost in a narrative that opens up a new world to me.  The Daughters of Iraq is one such book. The narrative, coursing over generations, sometimes in diary form etc draws the reader into a life and a world I have little if no knowledge about.  For some reason or another it never occurred to me that Jewish people could live in Iraq, that Iraq did not feel the same pressure as did most of the world during WWII or any of the other myriad aspects addressed in this book. 
The characters in this book is utterly amazing, those touched upon in third person narrative etc all do so with an openness and a frankness that I really enjoyed.  These are not mass murderers; these are people, friends, family, and neighbors.  Their flaws although apparent and at times appalling (I had the world's worth of respect of Noa's grandfather) and their successes, which shone through, one thing remained true.  This is a story about real people, people who get mistreated by their spouses, who gets killed due to a bicycle accident.  People who will be remembered due to the way they dealt with life.  Something has got to be said about the everyday heroes who live, and prosper in life without being a hero with a cape.  I loved this book and would recommend it to any reader who wants to break free from the norm.  I give it a resounding 5 * review. 

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