Rating: 9 Hard to read at times because of the clear picture this author paints.
Skip factor: My normal 3-5%
Who should read? Compassionates. Anyone who would like to understand why people risk their lives and the lives of their family, leaving everything they have behind, and begin anew.
This is a story of hope and perseverance where the characters fight to maintain both their freedom and their love. To me, while this is fiction, it read like a memoir or biography, so I wasn’t surprised while reading the acknowledgments that the author volunteers with refugees. Some of the experiences and characters were based on real people and true events.
Characters: I don’t like war books, so I was apprehensive to read this as their immigration was due to war, but I quickly became interested in both Nuri and his cousin Mustafa. Afra, on the other hand, was distant in the beginning, her story kept secret by the author. For me, this added more suspense. Her character was a work in process. I grew to love her by the end. I also could not get enough of Mohammed, the boy Nuri wanted desperately to protect.
Writing style: Excellent. Especially for a debut novel.
Read this author again: Absolutely. I’ll be waiting for another from her.
CJ Zahner is the author of The Suicide Gene, Dream Wide Awake, Project Dream, Friends Who Move Couches and Don’t Mind Me, I Came with the House. Zahner’s Dream Series novels were inspired by true-life experiences. Listen to her interview about her 9/11 a premonition here. Download her Beyond Reality Radio podcast here or her Online Book Circle podcast here. Read more about Zahner in Voyage Raleigh. Purchase her books on Amazon and follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, BookBub, or LinkedIn.