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One of my favourite reasons to read is escapism, but that’s not always the point is it? Even with fiction. Sometimes a book can be so stark and poignant that it hits you in the face like a ton of bricks and makes you open your eyes, your ears and your heart. This is one of those books.

Reading A Lullaby in the Desert gave me The Handmaid's Tale/1984-esque vibes. However, unlike the "this sure could happen" scenarios of the later, Azar's novel depicts the very real events of abusive governments, the rise of religious extremism in such groups as Daesh, their occupation of Syria and the plights of a group of people who seek their freedom.

This novel is at its best in its description of the life of a displaced person living in Iraq. Her name is Susan, and she is an Iranian refugee trying to make a life for herself in Erbil at the time that the Da’esh were attacking Mosul. The incredible detail of her existence as a refugee woman in an Arabic country is very moving and believable. The fates of the children in this story are especially poignant and lend credence to the title.

This book has been written by a woman for whom English is not her first language, and for whom narrative style is different from that usually expected by readers of English. She nevertheless tells a devastating but engaging tale full of incident, emotion, tension, simple hopes brutally crushed, enduring, if misplaced, faith, and most of all simple humanity.
The nature of the story, and the empathy the author manages to generate through her characters, meant I had to read this book in stages, though the narrative tried to make me read it in one sitting. I was not emotionally up to...

Such a compelling, beautifully written tale. It's message is so important and current to today's issue, representing the astounding abuse and prejudice middle-eastern women have faced in the wake of ISIS. Should be read by any and everyone but will particularly resonate with those who want to understand the crisis faced in the middle-east at a more personal level. Heart-renching and captivating I cannot recommend this book enough