…by Yasmina Khadra.
Dr. Amin Jaafari, an Arab born Israeli citizen, is a prestigious surgeon in a hospital in Tel Aviv. His life is good with his loving wife, successful career and admirable friends. Tragedy gets a hold of his life when a bomb goes off in a restaurant in Tel Aviv where over a dozen children are killed. As Dr. Jaafari goes home tired after treating the victims of the blast, he gets a call from the police informing him to meet them right away. The doctor gets to the location only to learn the gruesome fact that the primary suspect in the bombing is his wife, a suicide bomber. The doctor’s world comes crashing down…the questions of “how could she?”, “why didn’t I see any signs?”, “how did she keep this side of her life a secret fro me?” and many more haunt his mind from the second he learns the news.
What happens next – whether or not he finds the answers to the grueling questions that are eating him alive, whether or not he could find peace of mind again after such a tragedy, whether his life gets back on track at all – all this and more is answered in this sad tale of love, relationships, religion and war.
A simple story the book starts off as, but goes on to becoming one of the those tales that has the power to make one’s heart heavy with grief that the character is experiencing. It makes the readers wonder how someone with a decent life would go to do something so hideous in the name of religion country and what not. The questions that raise in Dr. Jaafari’s mind as he learns of his wife’s act are the very questions that the reader would want answers for, making this book an interesting and engrossing read. The writing is so simple and beautiful that readers won’t find it hard to connect with the main character, feel sympathetic for his loss and for the torment that he goes through after the tragedy.
Overall, this easy to read tale takes one through a journey towards seeking answers to troubling questions, offering a fitting closure to main character, and I would recommend it.
My rating: 4*.
*for the rating scale, click here.