Book Review: Sarmada

I’ve been writing reviews for BookGeeks for more than a year now. I choose whatever books I want to review, as long as they’ve been published in the last year or two. The folks at BookGeeks will give out books for free to be reviewed, but only to people in England, where the site is based. The shipping costs to get a book to America aren’t really worth it.

The Reviews Manager for BookGeeks has gently prodded me towards eBooks on several occasions because those would be easy to pass my way. I’ve sort of avoided the opportunity because I just love a nice, paper book. But she’s nicely persistent so I finally caved. I did point out to her that most of the eBooks available for review weren’t really my style (fantasy and serious sci-fi). I explained my taste as fiction novels that take place in another country, preferably in Africa or Asia. It’s an honest description but could you get any more specific?

Then someone from HopeRoad Publishing contacted me, after getting my contact information from the Reviews Manager. They specialize in “e-books from writers, particularly those of Caribbean, Asian and African origins.” What are the chances?

And so, I’ve officially reviewed my first eBook.

Sarmada by Fadi Azzan is a Syrian novel, originally written in Arabic. I struggled a bit with the language difference because it’s not written in the direct, American style I’m used to. But once I got over that, the book was really interesting. Strange at parts, but definitely interesting.

Fadi Azzan’s debut novel, Sarmada, focuses on the lives of three extraordinary women in the Syrian town of Sarmada. This story winds its way through myths, superstitions, illicit love, erotica and dissent. Originally written in Arabic and translated by Adam Talib, Sarmada is currently in the running for the International Prize for Arab Fiction.

Author Azzan focuses on the lives of Azza / Hela Mansour, Farida and Buthayna. All three women stand out in their town for their brave dissent of tradition and laws.

You can read my whole review of Sarmada, by Fadi Azzan and Adam Talib, on BookGeeks.

This post originally appeared on Kate’s Point of View. © Kate. All rights reserved.