I was rendered speechless by this book. It is the most beautiful book I’ve a read in a very long time. It’s so incredibly written that you could feel all the pain, hatred, desperation and hope. This story is soul crushing and inspiring and refreshing and most importantly so very truthful. I don’t even know if my words will be fair to it.
Michelle has a real gift and a way with words. She managed to bring to life smells, views, sounds and emotions, oh God! So raw emotions! But what strikes harder is that all this pain was and still is real.
The math and physics references I skimmed through because they required some deep knowledge on the subject, which I lack, but they were very scarce and only to emphasize Ichmad’s talent. The Arab words were easy to understand within the context.
In brief words, this book is a wonderful testimony of humankind in its best and worst, and overflowing with wisdom filled lessons.
The heart of this story though, was in its characters. The complexity in all of them. I simply loved Baba! He sort of reminded me of my dad with his courage and advices of peace, love and understanding. This man is unbelievably strong, and the greatest influence in Ichmad’s life. He grew up to be the man he was because of him and all his teachings, because of the people who believed in him and who taught him to love and trust. These two men, father and son, are the most inspiring and resilient characters I’ve read about in a while.
But I also loved the fact that we got to know and care for characters that weren’t as wise and forgiving, like Abbas and their mum. I wanted to make them come to their senses so many times, but I could also understand their stubbornness and how life led them to be the way they were. It’s funny how people in the same circumstances can turn out as different.
I also had the chance to enjoy and witness, along Ichmad, how hatred turned into respect and then love when it came to Professor Sharon, and I couldn’t help but be amazed how love and patience can go a long way.
The writing is beautiful, immediate and engrossing, and you’ll easily get lost among the words and in time.
In sum, I was expecting good and I got great. I learned a lot about humankind, different cultures and history, but most of all about hope, kindness and forgiveness. Please, do yourselves a favour and pick this one up. It is a book to fall in love with.