Entangled Lives – Book REVIEW (Releases 7/27/18)

Entangled Lives by Imran Omer – 4/5 Stars – Thank you, NetGalley and Roundfire Books, for the advanced reading copy! Releases tomorrow! Review Below.
Entangled Lives has been the most diverse and unique reads of this year for me. Overall, I’m glad I read this book because it gave me a perspective of a world I otherwise might not have learned much about.
Raza is an orphan in Pakistan who is raised in a madrassah, a poor Muslim school that raises children with strict religious standards, but traps them in a world of perversion and abuse.
Once Raza enters adulthood and falls in love with a young girl in his village, they elope and try to escape their fates, only to later have his pregnant lover be imprisoned for the remainder of her life and he is sent to spend his days as a Taliban soldier in Afghanistan.
Rachael is an American journalist who travels to Afghanistan to personally witness how the war and religious and political conflicts are affecting its people, and more specifically, the women.
Rachael, while eager to be at the top of her journalist career, doesn’t realize the difficult road paved not only for the people she meets, but also herself.
This was a truly unique read and I think was a great idea for a book. The reader learns a little bit more about the lives, albeit still fictional, of the culture of the people in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the timeline right before 9/11. I applaud the author for taking up a highly controversial subject and writing a great work of fiction.
My only gripe with this was the story was a little difficult to follow along. I think if each chapter had more detail at the beginning, just whose perspective it was, it would make for easier reading transitions for the reader. It sometimes took me a couple pages to figure out whose perspective the narration was coming from.
The story line came off simple, but covered many complex issues and cultures. It was an easy read, but still gave me a lot to think about.
The author was in no way rationalizing the horrible events that have taken place as a result of the Taliban, but offers the perspective of how everyone is affected and exposes the beauty to be found in hardship.

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