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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Suzan
  • SF Bay Area
  • 08-24-18

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.

2 of 2 people found this review 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..

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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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  • Jan
  • MKE
  • 09-03-18

Fascinating!

kurdish-people, teaching, contemporary, cultural-exploration

Alesa leaves behind the uncertainties of teaching students in the US for the uncertainties of teaching students who had become internationals during the years that Saddam Hussein dominated their homeland. She makes friends among her colleagues, learns to fake compliance with a repressive educational system, learns new words. But her best achievements are being befriended by a local young woman and her mother and helping to change awareness of the practice of female circumcision. There are good times and bad, highs and lows, especially those related to financial issues back in the states. This book is a novelization of the author's own experiences, and I am glad that part of that process included melding some characters together, the book itself is a learning experience for those of us who think that we have problems.
I generally prefer books which are narrated by the author, who better to know how to convey emotions and in some cases pronounce non English words!
I requested and received a free audio copy courtesy of AudioBookBOOM.

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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??