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The Kurdish Bike: A Novel  By  cover art

The Kurdish Bike: A Novel

By: Alesa Lightbourne
Narrated by: Alesa Lightbourne
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Publisher's Summary

Gold Medal: Best Regional Fiction e-Book, Independent Publishers Book Awards 2017

First Place: Best Fiction of 2017, North Street Book Contest

With her marriage over and life gone flat, Theresa Turner responds to an online ad and lands at a school in Kurdish Iraq. Befriended by a widow in a nearby village, Theresa is embroiled in the joys and agonies of traditional Kurds, especially the women who survived Saddam's genocide only to be crippled by age-old restrictions, brutality, and honor killings.

Theresa's greatest challenge will be balancing respect for cultural values while trying to introduce more enlightened attitudes toward women - at the same time seeking new spiritual dimensions within herself.

The Kurdish Bike is gripping, tender, wry, and compassionate - an eye-opener into little known customs in one of the world's most explosive regions - a novel of love, betrayal, and redemption.

©2016 Alesa M. Lightbourne (P)2018 Alesa Lightbourne

What listeners say about The Kurdish Bike: A Novel

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You will love this

I really enjoyed getting to listen to this book. It is read by the author and that is something that I always like. I believe it is the first book written by Alesa Lightbourne. If this is her first wow what will her next be like. I knew very little of the Kurdish people only what is told on the news. This book really opened my eyes and heart to the Kurdish people. The book deals with some difficult times but it is done in such a way that you understand the severity but are not overwhelmed with tears. Sometimes it is important to get the understanding of what is going on without all the emotions. So you can more clearly understand the situation. I was gifted this audiobook by the author with the understanding that I would leave an honest review. I feel blessed to have gotten to listen to this book and leave an review. If you are thinking of reading this book do you will not be disappointed.

3 people found this helpful

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An informative, funny learning expense impossible to forget.

Alesa’s skill in imagery & character building made this Middle Eastern experience come alive for me. An experience worth sharing..

3 people found this helpful

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10 Stars!!!

Fascinating! I loved this book so much I listened to it twice and enjoyed it even more the 2nd time. As a woman of similar demographics to the author, I could relate to many of her personal struggles, and would highly recommend it to other women yearning for some change or adventure that removes you from your daily grind, or who are interested in middle eastern culture. I would not recommend it to most men, as it can be (often justifiably) critical of the gender, regardless of culture. The author is obviously left-wing, with an admittedly “bleeding heart”, but she only occasionally and gently delves into politics and then masterfully steers away. As a conservative myself, my hackles would start to bristle, I would think “oh geez, here we go”, and then be allowed to relax and enjoy the story, which was *superb*! I may even listen to it a third time and really hope she will write more about her time spent in the Middle East.

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Insightful, Well-Written, & Down-to-Earth

I really enjoyed this story. Alesa's writing style is lovely and to the point. The premise was strong and fit the description.

The sound quality was good. The narration was down-to-earth and Alesa's voice added a unique charm to this title.

This title was well worth the time spent listening to it. I would recommend this to anyone interested in the experiences of an American living abroad, of a traveling teacher, or to anyone who is interested in expanding their cultural viewpoint.

I'm looking forward to more from this author in the future and I hope that she continues to narrate her own work (Please note that it's very uncommon for me to recommend titles where the author also narrates).

*This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

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Absolutely one of the best books

This book kept me entertained and brought me a world I didn't know about. I loved that we learned of their world. I wish this writer could write more of these types of books.

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It’s a keeper.

I really enjoyed this book. I loved learning about the Kurdish culture in a very palatable manner. The author is humorous and self-deprecating.

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Illustrating how to start understanding each other

If you are looking for a book off the beaten path, The Kurdish Bike will not disappoint. Although a novelization, it is in formed by the authors experience living and teaching in Kurdistan in 2010. I was particularly impressed by the author’s explicit concerns about what she originally perceives as dangerous situations that are simply not understanding local customs, etc. This introspection is inspiring. In a time when we are all too ready to let fear rule our lives, this book is a useful reminder that we need to put more effort into understanding one another.

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The Kurdish Bike

The writing was very well done. The story was convincing and characters made real through the story.

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I’ve listened twice because I didn’t want to miss a detail of this heartfelt and engrossing story!!! You’ll be pondering this

Story, long after you finish the book!! I’m now waiting for a sequel!!, hope there is one!!

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Is very good story to know about Kurdish woman

I recommend to whom wants know about Kurdistan. Some of events in this book doesn’t match the fact, for example having kids outside marriage consider a big shame so most time the woman stoned to death.

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  • DubaiReader
  • 08-27-18

Teaching in Iraqi Kurdistan.

I really enjoyed this audio version of The Kurdish Bike, a novel based on the author's experiences as an expat teacher in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The main character, Theresa, is an older, mature teacher, who has been through a messy divorce and decides to up-sticks to somewhere completely new to her. To have an adventure and escape from old memories. The job in Northern Iraq looks like the perfect opportunity.
Once in Kurdistan, she goes against protocol and buys a bike, then uses it to go into the village and meet some of the locals. She is adopted into a Kurdish family and we enjoy all their trials and tribulations alongside Theresa.

For me this worked extremely well as a way of introducing various issues, such as female circumcision, the rights of women and the recent history of the area.

The school was an eye-opener, I suspect there is a similar school near me, where all children are on the same page of the same book on any given day, irrespective of their level of ability or even whether they have had a teacher for the last term.

The book was narrated by the author and she did a great job - except there are a few places where she stumbles, which is something that I never hear with professional narrators. On the plus side, she does the 'asides' perfectly and I suspect these might have annoyed me in the written version as I'm not a fan of aside comments.
Hopefully she will correct these issues in the near future.

I am genuinely hoping that Theresa will go back to the village for another year of teaching - at the end of the novel she was offered an opportunity...will she take it??