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The Watermelon Boys: A Novel (Hoopoe Fiction) Paperback – September 4, 2018

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In her debut novel, The Watermelon Boys, Ruqaya Izzidien forces the reader to confront the impact of European intervention in the Middle East, and masterfully so." ―The National
"Not only does The Watermelon Boys open with a with a pithy (and rather memorable) epigram―'The present is an arrogant time in which to live'―but it is also Tolstoyan in the number of characters and subplots."―Asian Review of Books
"As a reader, be prepared to find yourself gripped to the point where you won't want to read anything else and you will be counting down the time when you can pick the book up again just to have a few more glorious sips."―The New Arab
"Beautifully rendered in rich and evocative prose, Carwyn, Ahmad and his rich-in-love-and-humor family and friends come alive in a way that lifts the soul and sears the heart. Highly recommended."―Historical Novel Society
"Izzidien’s strength lies in her ability to take a complex history and to turn it into the heartbreakingly emotional stories that are the foundation of said history. Her writing is relatable and profound." ―Arab News
"Ruqaya Izzidien offers up an intricate tapestry of Iraq during WWI stitched up from the various points of view of a wide cast of strongly fleshed out characters moving in a space that is so well detailed in its description it actually felt as if were cinematic, playing out on an imaginary reel in this reader's mind."―BookFabulous
". . . deft touches of compassion and vulnerability that amplify the intensity in the scenes of cruelty and terror."―Media Diversified/ Writers of Colour
". . . sensitive and lyrical, her eye for detail enriching descriptive passages."―Arab Hyphen

About the Author

Ruqaya Izzidien is an Iraqi-Welsh freelance journalist and writer currently based in Morocco. Since graduating from Durham University she has also lived and worked in Cairo and the Gaza Strip.

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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
15 customer ratings
5 star
78%
4 star
11%
3 star
11%
2 star 0% (0%) 0%
1 star 0% (0%) 0%
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Reviewed in the United States on March 31, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on December 8, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on December 7, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on September 1, 2018
4 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on September 1, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on December 25, 2018

Top international reviews

Giselle Cory
5.0 out of 5 stars A very accessible, human story, poetically told
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 28, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and powerful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 28, 2018
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Anon.
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, that could have gone further
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 28, 2020
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Samarrai
5.0 out of 5 stars novel
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 17, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 19, 2018
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N.S
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong debut novel
Reviewed in Germany on November 25, 2019
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Christina Weeding
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant expose of British colonialism in Iraq during WW1
Reviewed in Canada on October 28, 2018
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