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Daughters of Iraq [Kindle Edition]

Revital Shiri-Horowitz
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $19.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

Daughters of Iraq is the compelling story of three women from the same family. It is the story of emigration from Iraq to Israel as experienced by two sisters: Violet, whom we learn about through a diary she kept after being diagnosed with a critical illness, and Farida, whose personality unfolds through her relationship with her surroundings, and with herself. The third character is Noa, Violet’s daughter and a student, a young woman in her twenties who is searching for meaning. Noa embarks on a spiritual quest to the past, so that she can learn how to build her life in the present and the future.


Editorial Reviews

Review

A latticework of personal tragedies and cultural history underpins Shiri-Horowitz's debut novel about immigrant lives in Israel, translated from the Hebrew by Shira Atik.... the novel is leavened with passion (above all else, for food, which is almost a fourth protagonist). The Twaina sisters' zest for life, despite setbacks, is seen in the dying Violet's rich evocation of the culture of Iraqi Jews and in matronly Farida's spirited foray to a beauty salon to have her hair cut, colored and styled. Such moments offset occasionally stodgy prose and some heavy-handed exposition. These are minor flaws, however, in a novel that brims with love for a community that no longer exists, and for the women who ensure that this lost community will not be forgotten.
A sympathetic tale of love, loss and loneliness highlighting a largely underrepresented community - "Kirkus Review"

About the Author

Revital Shiri-Horowitz is an experienced teacher and presenter to Jewish communities and audiences. Using her own life story and excerpts of her novel, Revital Shiri-Horowitz generates a warm and uplifting experience for the listener. Her overall mission is to connect her audiences to their roots so that they can be closer to themselves.
 
Revital Shiri-Horowitz was born and raised in Israel. As a kid, she wrote poetry and short stories. She's been writing in her journal almost every day since she was nine years old, and up to the time she met her husband, but never imagined that one day she would become a published author in more than one language, and in so many countries, and even continents.
 
Revital went on to earn a BA in Hebrew Literature and Geography from Tel Aviv University, an MA in Geography from Haifa University, and an MA in Hebrew Literature from Tel Aviv University.
 
She was an assistant professor of Geography in Haifa and Tel Aviv Universities, and has been an editor for Hebrew-language books.
 
Based in Seattle, Washington, and in Israel, Revital is the mother of four boys, married to Amnon for twenty years, writes poetry, runs a blog in "Haaretz," an Israeli newspaper, and is working on a second novel.

Product Details

  • File Size: 333 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004U34YM8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,193 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and Moving September 14, 2011
By Lisa
Format:Paperback
Daughters of Iraq tells the story of Iraqi Jews from the points of view of three women. Sisters Violet and Farida grew up in Iraq. They lived a fairly good life until the politics of the region drove them to Israel. They had to make new lives for themselves. The third woman is Violet's daughter Noa. Born in Israel, Noa is discovering about her past through a diary written by Violet. These three stories are woven together with past and present combining to tell a marvelous tale of love, family, and endurance.

This book is a translation from the original Hebrew, so I feel there are times that it doesn't read as smooth as you would expect. However, this did not bother me. I had a bit of a hard time getting into it in the beginning as each chapter seems to change narrators and time periods. Once you get adjusted to this, you really get drawn in. I found there to be a quiet sureness to the plot. There are no twists and turns or startling revelations. Instead you get an amazing story of three women who are living remarkable lives, even if they may not appear so to the rest of the world. I especially felt for Noa, who is really embarking on a journey of self-discovery through school work and life. When her Aunt Farida gives her Violet's diary, Noa is able to learn even more about mother and her past.

One common theme for all three women was discovering their true home. Violet and Farida were torn from their home country and the life they knew so well. In Israel, things were much harder. They even lived in a tent for a while. Meanwhile, Noa has in some sense been running away from her home. When her mother was ill, she couldn't seem to face the reality of it. Noa never really understood herself or what it really meant to be "home.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful, Touching Book June 13, 2011
Format:Paperback
This book is a welcome addition to the canon of modern Jewish literature which is often dominated by the holocaust and events in Europe. Daughters of Iraq is a beautifully written and touching account spanning three generations of women as we learn about the migration from Iraq to Israel under the most difficult of circumstances. A key sub-plot is Noa's mums diary which acts as a thread linking the generations together and holding the key to family secrets. The prose in the book is well executed and the dialogue, which at times feels like a play reveals very human, well drawn characters. The historical events in the book give it a touch of authenticity which strengthens the story especially the nostalgic reminisces of Iraq. On the whole this is an inspirational story of hope, love, family and life
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful voices of three strong women May 30, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Revital Shiri-Horowitz's "Daughters of Iraq" weaves together the stories of three women: Two Jewish-Iraqi sisters Farida and Violet growing up and then fleeing Baghdad for Israel, and Violet's daughter Noa, living in modern Israel. As the story begins, Violet has died, and Noa is seeking her way in life. Noa gets her mother's diary from Aunt Farida, and we get to read it along with her.

Shiri-Horowitz is able to carry off the story from multiple points of view. I cheered Noa on as she learned to move forward with her life and love. Violet, dying of cancer, worried about her children and mused about life and her ravaged body. But my favorite character was Farida: she was quite the woman. A widow who still cooks like her family surrounds her, her body huge, her voice gentle and melodic. I'd love to meet her in real life.

Intertwined with the stories was some interesting history, too. Who knew that so many Jews fled Baghdad after Israel was formed? Or that a resistance force stayed behind? This book was a nice debut by Shiri-Horowitz, and I'm looking forward to more. I sure hope she brings Farida along!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed With the Daughters of Iraq August 3, 2012
By Drayer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
To me this book read like a young adult novel. I was expecting more intrigue but received Farida's obsession with food. There were a lot of words but did not create a relationship with any of the three main characters. There were a lot of hardship identified in the book but did not feel a part of those hardship. The book ended with Noa at a coffee shop reflecting back on her life and what she has learned and how she has changed. I tried to find the end of the story after Noa's reflections, but that was the end. It was an incomplete ending for me.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful April 18, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In a twisting plot with intriguing characters Shiri-Horowitz grasps the attention of the reader in a novel that is both instructive and heartfelt. Through the main character, Noa, a young woman looking for meaning in our convolute world, we experience the journey of her ancestors, an established Jewish family in Iraq, to the newly formed state of Israel in the early `50s. Their hardships and triumphs shed light on a forgotten chapter of history, and help our protagonist make sense of her own destiny. Beautiful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful February 22, 2013
Format:Paperback
"Daughters of Iraq" by Revital Shiri-Horowitz is a touching and informative read, the story of three women from the same family as they live as Jews in Iraq and Israel.
The story is told in alternating episodes jumping between three eras: Iraq in the 1940s and its seemingly happy Jewish community as it falls apart after the creation of Israel. Jews become the object of hate and most emigrate to Israel. Then life in Israel in the 1950s as the newcomers to the state realise they have lost their homes and some of their previous identity. And last life in Israel in the 1980s for the next generation.
The writing moved me with its melancholic tone and all characters are beautifully created and lovable.
the theme of migration and its effect on the women is very insightful and gave me a lot to think about. Jewish people of various national and cultural identities having to blend together, overcome language barriers and re-define themselves in a new society that has stripped them off their previous status.
This book is rich in so many ways, I can only recommend you pick it up and read it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a powerful story, weaving together at least ...
This is a powerful story, weaving together at least three stories:

1) The story of 3 generations, 2 of which immigrated from Iraq to Israel and the third born in... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dina Tanners
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read!
The characters are well developed, at times had to stop & decide where the story was. I do enjoy reading about people in other cultures.
Published 6 months ago by V. Augusta Bartell
3.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a read
This book is disjointed at times, but explains a lot about the problems faced by and family ties of Iraqi immigrants to Israel.
Published 6 months ago by sb
5.0 out of 5 stars delightful
I loved the book. Portrayed a colorful picture of the Iraqi Jewish diaspora and the women in this family. Highly recommended.
Published 12 months ago by Bellevue E
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful tapestry of descriptions
Revital Shiri-Horowitz's Daughters of Iraq gives a glimpse into a world that I've never explored or even considered. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Patti Ann
4.0 out of 5 stars Held my interest
I enjoyed this book and learned a little about Jewish customs in Iraq. The characters were vividly described but sometimes jumping from one to another and present day to past got... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Gatorette
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad writing; bad editing
Interesting characters and story lines, but they are poorly developed. A lot of editing and rewriting is needed for these inherently interesting characters to come alive and really... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Joan L. Freeman
2.0 out of 5 stars Download ebook was not complete!
The downloaded ebook was not complete. Several chapters were missing and in their place was a complete list of characters from the book that was superfluous. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Donald Frank
4.0 out of 5 stars Endearing, passionate, and heartwarming.
I took a long time to read this book...because I wanted to live with these characters and experience some of what they felt through the time-spans they had to deal with. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Stuart Land
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointing
At first this novel captured my interest but quickly my interest fell flat. I continued hoping I might find so attachment to the charactures. No, that didn't happen. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Laura
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More About the Author

Revital Shiri-Horowitz is an experienced teacher and presenter to Jewish communities and audiences. Using her own life story and excerpts of her novel, Revital Shiri-Horowitz generates a warm and uplifting experience for the listener. Her overall mission is to connect her audiences to their roots so that they can be closer to themselves.

Revital Shiri-Horowitz was born and raised in Israel. As a kid, she wrote poetry and short stories. She's been writing in her journal almost every day since she was nine years old, and up to the time she met her husband, but never imagined that one day she would become a published author in more than one language, and in so many countries, and even continents.

Revital went on to earn a BA in Hebrew Literature and Geography from Tel Aviv University, an MA in Geography from Haifa University, and an MA in Hebrew Literature from Tel Aviv University.

She was an assistant professor of Geography in Haifa and Tel Aviv Universities, and has been an editor for Hebrew-language books.

Based in Seattle, Washington, and in Israel, Revital is the mother of four boys, married to Amnon for twenty years, writes poetry, runs a blog in "Haaretz," an Israeli newspaper, and is working on a second novel.

More facts:

* Born in Israel to Jewish Iraqi immigrants.
* Lived with a large extended Iraqi family, upon whom much of this book is based.
* Lived most of her life in Israel.
* Served in the Israeli Army.
* Earned BA's in Hebrew Literature and Geography from Tel Aviv University.
* Earned her MA in Geography from Haifa University.
* Earned her MA in Hebrew Literature from Tel Aviv University.
* Was an assistant professor of Geography in Haifa and Tel Aviv Universities.
* Taught Hebrew to foreign exchange students at Haifa University.
* Taught Hebrew in London, England to elementary school students.
* Has written diaries, poems and short stories throughout her life.
* Has edited a poetry book and children book in Hebrew.
* Has been married to Amnon for 20 years, and is the proud mother of four
boys between the ages of 18 and 7.

She loves to write and connect with people. Revital loves to travel and explore new places, and loves her dog Sheleg (snow in Hebrew).

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