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Anissa of Syria: A Christian Refugee’s Saga from the Syrian War to the American Dream (The Love of Antioch Series) (Volume 1) Paperback – October 16, 2015
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Out of the destruction she does slowly rebuild her life and it's in college that Anissa starts to open up. She meets Maya, a friend who she instantly connects with and two men who will no doubt change her life. Michael is the Syrian-Christian student who she is enamored with from the beginning. Julien, her billionaire professor who may have more in common with her than she thinks. What this leads to is a remarkable story.
Jonah Pierce does a superb job with Anissa of Syria. He takes you on a emotional journey with Anissa that you are going to remember for a long time. He makes you think, cry, laugh, get angry and gives you hope as you read this book. At the end of it, you are eager to get your hands on the next book in this series. The amount of research that went into this story is evident in every single page. Jonah brilliantly takes current events and turns it into a contemporary romance that unlike any other book out there. After you read it you want to know more about the situation going on in Syria and the Middle East. Anissa of Syria is a book that needs to be on your must read list. I can't recommend this book enough. It's a thought provoking story that will stay with you long after you read it.
The writing is so realistic … it makes you feel like you’re living the story along with Anissa, the young Syrian woman who is the central character in the novel. You feel her pain and her struggle. I felt heartbroken for her and I literally cried for her as I read it.
Jonah Pierce really painted a detailed picture of what’s going on in Syria and the Middle East now. For Anissa and her family, life was very difficult in war-torn Syria. He highlighted the difficulties of being a part of the Christian minority amongst warring groups. It’s a scary situation and more people should be aware of it.
When Anissa arrives in New York, she becomes involved with two very different men. Michael is totally immersed in his activism and doesn’t seem to want to commit to a relationship. On the other hand, her relationship with Julien is very complicated as he is fighting demons of his own.
I was very impressed by this novel! I really enjoyed how Jonah Pierce wove his characters and their struggles into current events. You could really feel his passion for this subject and his desire to share it with his readers. I cannot wait for the sequel!
But stepping away from the events of the day that make this story even more interesting as an examination between radicalism on both the Christian side and the Islam side, Jonah simply writes very well. He has elected to present this saga written in the form of a diary (by the Syrian woman) and a journal (by her professor) and his opening chapter sets the tones well: ‘~ Friday, February 7, 2014 To My Dearest, With mere words, how do I tell you about the destruction of everything in my young life – all that I loved and lived for? How can I explain to you what sustained me through unimaginable evil, when I myself don’t know the answer? And after I survived it, but with a soul that was hollowed into a nihilistic ache, how did I manage to carry on, even as unbearable memories pursued me everywhere, like a pack of wolves hounding their prey? As much as I wish I could tell you everything, there are details that I just can’t talk about right now. They’re too overwhelming – I’ll never make it through the telling. No human being should ever have to remember, much less share, certain events. Sometimes emotional survival means deceiving everyone – including yourself. And ever since that infernal night, on January 18, 2012, I’ve been trying to lie to myself by pretending that certain things didn’t happen – because sometimes it’s the only way for me to stay sane. So I don’t know if I’ll ever tell you those details. With God’s mercy, maybe I’ll finally believe the falsehoods that I recite to myself every night in bed, in the hope that I can, at last, sleep with some solace. And if that happens, then even you, My Dearest, will never know those details, because the lies of my imagination will be all that I can remember.’
Jonah’s synopsis is seductive: ‘ Anissa is traumatized by the most brutal conflict of the 21st Century: the Syrian Civil War. In 2012, Islamists in Homs terrorize a Syrian-Christian community and destroy everything that a young woman holds dear. Narrowly escaping death, Anissa restarts her devastated life as a college student in New York City. She is bewildered and lost, but hopeful for a better life in a new land. Anissa is soon drawn to two powerful individuals: Michael Kassab, the Syrian-American leader working to found the first Mideast Christian state, and Julien Morales, her Columbia University professor who runs a $20 billion hedge fund. Complicating matters, Michael is still attached to his ex-girlfriend and Julien is the most sought after bachelor in Manhattan (and has hidden demons that even his therapist can’t extract). Anissa’s heart and her communal ties pull her in different directions, as she seeks hope and renewal in a dark world.’
Read the book, discover many aspects of Christianity in Syria and throughout the Middle East that have probably not come to mind in this environment. There is much to learn here as well as a very fine novel by a gifted author. Grady Harp, December 15
Most recent customer reviews
Wouldn't recommend it to anyone my time was wasted reading this book.
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