Monday, March 20, 2006

Books 7, 8 and 9

Book 7 for the year was Marian Keys "Further Under the Duvet". A book of short stories she's written - mainly real stories about her and her life, some previously unpublished, others published in magazines. Also talks about her battle against alcoholism when she was younger (which ironically turned her into a writer). Some stories are funny, some are sad, all are well written.

Book 8 was Nicci French "Secret Smile". This book annoyed me. Nicci French writes thrillers, and I've read one before which was quite good. In this story, nobody believes the girls story that this guy she dated for a couple of weeks is psychotic, and killed people, because he tells people she's stressed and not to believe her. He befriends the policeman looking after the case and convinces him she's lying. Lets not mention that this guy has a history of violence and strange behaviour, and uses fakes names (so wouldn't have any ID with his real name). As well as that she never tells anyone the whole story about what he's done, and also finds evidence that he's killed someone, but she never does anything with the evidence - doesn't hand it over to the police (because he's friends with the suspect), doesn't show her family (because he's wheedled his way into their lives)... And I'm sure if in a case, where the suspect became friends with the investigating officer, you could request a new officer. Anyway, it was quite annoying, and not worth the read.

Book 9 was Burned Alive by Souad which is "The shocking, true story of one woman's escape from an "honour" killing". And yes it is. Souad is an Arabic woman living in a small village in the West Bank and born in the late 50's. At 18, she has petrol poured over her and is set alight by her brother in law because she is pregnant, and unmarried. She would also receive the same fate even if she was not pregnant, and someone had have discovered she was secretly seeing a man (or even if she wasn't seeing a man, but someone THOUGHT she was!!), as it supposedly damages the family's honour, and she must be killed to restore their honour. This is the story of life as an Arabic female, and the daily beatings they must endure at the hands of the men in their family - purely because they are female, which makes them worth less than the sheep and goats. When she was on fire, some women nearby managed to throw her into a fountain and put out the flames, and she was taken to hospital. She managed to live, and get saved by a European aid worker, and taken to Switzerland to finally receive treatment. This is her story of how it is, and to get more publicity about "honour killings" which still happen today, and countries that still have laws to protect men who commit these killings. Definitely worth a read.

1 comment:

LittleBat said...

The problem with the book "Burned Alive" is that it is not authentic. Several incidents reported in the story are quite impossible, and throughout there are a whole series of errors which show that the author is not really from the West Bank.