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In Faqir's haunting, fragmented third novel (following Pillars of Salt), Bedouin teenager Salma Ibrahim El-Musa has become Sally Ascher, longing to fit in to her adopted rural Devon, England. As the novel unfolds in retrospect, Salma becomes pregnant by her lover, Hamdan, who repudiates her. Under threat of an honor killing at the hands of her family and tribe, Salma is put in protective prison custody, where her newborn daughter, Layla, is taken from her; she then escapes, with her family in pursuit. The story of Salma's flight alternates with her emigré travails, where she cruises bars, hopelessly picking up men: seeking human connection, self-inflicted punishment, and escape from the pain of being separated from Layla. Always Salma sees, lurking in the shadows, the figure of her brother, Mahmoud, coming to "shoot her between the eyes." Faqir skillfully weaves together the strands of Salma's life, and movingly follows her torturous path to asylum, and to her adult self and life.
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The third novel from this provocative Jordanian author boldly addresses her ongoing theme of the vulnerability of Arab women in male-dominated societies. Her protagonist is Salma, a member of a Bedouin tribe in Hima, the Levant, who at 16 becomes pregnant out of wedlockconsidered by her tribe a crime punishable by death. Imprisoned for her own safety, she gives birth five months later; her daughter is spirited away, and Salma is imprisoned eight more years before being secretly released and sent to Southampton, England. There she works as a seamstress and barmaid, removes her veil and cautiously gains her independence. Faqir shifts her narrative abruptly between Salma's years in prison and her ongoing life, capturing the reader in a jarring juxtaposition of emotions. Salma dreams of someday going to Greece"the nearest she could get to her home without being shot." When her daughter is 16, Salma can no longer resist trying to find her, and in so doing risks everything she has become. A remarkable and exquisitely written tale of a repressive, still active tradition. Donovan, DeborahSee all Editorial Reviews
The story line switched for scene to scene and back and forth in time. I was unable to become engaged in the book . Read morePublished 21 months ago by Peter e
I found this an incredibly engaging and emotionally moving account of a young Arab woman trapped between the incredibly mysogynist Middle East and the incredibly racist culture of... Read morePublished on July 16, 2010 by Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall
The story itself was intriguing, heartbreaking and very well written. But omigosh, sometimes you just wanted to slap the main character and tell her to get over it. Read morePublished on May 7, 2009 by Siva H.
The Cry of the Dove is a compelling story of a woman forsaken by her family and running for her life. Read morePublished on May 3, 2009 by L. G. Berkowitz