i so enjoyed listening to this book that no sooner was it completed than I started it again. It's a finely drawn historical novel that has clearly benefited from some thorough research. Clara, her historical setting and the people around her are entirely believable. The descriptions of the leadlight panels are stunning. Susan Vreeland has crafted this novel well and it's beautifully narrated by Kimberly Farr. Good one, Audible!
I've listened to this book several times and found something new in each re-telling. It's powerful because much of the book is drawn from Ms Brooks' own experience, then it's coupled with some excellent research of the context. So the book has strong credibility. She's not judgemental in the telling - it's a finely drawn balance of experience, what others say, her opinion, and giving the other side of the story. Well done on this one!
The discussion about female genital mutilation, the clear assertion that this has nothing to do with Islam (which I knew - it's also practiced in other communities, includeing some christian communities; it's more a cultural practice). But it was Ms Brooks' lived experience in many islamic countries that makes the book memorable. Her descriptions of the 'unveiling' of women - their private lives.
I found I wanted to tap into this book at intervals. It was thought-provoking, so needed some 'soak time' to enable me to digest the messages.
Good on Ms Brooks reading her own book. Given it's her story that's appropriate. She's not the best narrator in the universe, but does a very reasonable job. Knowing it was her voice delivering her story and her message gives the book additional credibility in this audio version.
I like a good parody - but this isn't it. if it had mirrored the whimsical nature of the originals, then it might have been a tale worth listening too. But sadly, it's a loser of a book. I'm sorry I didn't read some reviews before I downloaded it and spent my credit. It's not even a book to go to sleep with! Avoid like the plague is my strong advice.
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