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Daughters of Iraq Paperback – April 7, 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Flawless narrative and wonderfully drawn characters, whom I came to know and love. -- Georgina Young, Author of The Time Baroness, Amazon.com

Revital's story touches the soul with human kindness, loss, tenderness, hope, the circle of love that weaves all hearts together, a delicate golden thread tying generations into one tapestry of life./Jackie Madden Haugh, My life in a Tutu, Amazon.com

A latticework of personal tragedies and cultural history underpins Horowitz's debut novel about immigrant lives in Israel...the novel is leavened with passion (above all else, for food, which is almost a fourth protagonist)...A sympathetic tale of love, loss and loneliness highlighting a largely underrepresented community.

Kirkus Review

I felt that I was actually living within this inspiring story, and with each turn of the page, I became more and more a part of this sad, happy, and historical story. --Simon Palmer, Author of Loosing to Hate

In a twisting plot with intriguing characters Shiri-Horowitz grasps the attention of the reader in a novel that is both instructive and heartfelt. --Anthony Blumfield on Amazon.com

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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Horowitz Publishing (April 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615460798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615460796
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #944,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Over the last few years I have been drawn to books written by foreign writers either living abroad or in the West. I feel that many books written by authors from our Western culture rarely have anything new to say. Probably because since the WW11 we have had few major experiences. Like most avid readers I look for a story that will move me emotionaly, teach me something new, have good prose, and well drawn characters that I can relate to. I enjoyed this book, like other readers, I found the characters were well portrayed, the historical context interesting and although in this instance written for Israelis, it reminds us how many refugees all over the world are suffering the same plights today. Very interesting was the comparison made, how the older members of the family found it difficult to adapt while the younger members, especially those with spirit, adjusted to their new circumstances. I also liked the manner in which the story developed. Switching from one character to another narrating the story, to a diary, was a clever idea which gave us more insight into the characters themselves. This book is well worth the price and I would highly recommend it.
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