Tuesday, August 20, 2013
After Reading: A MISSING PEACE by Beth Fred
Angry, seventeen-year-old Iraqi war refugee Mirriam Yohanna hates her new life in Killeen, Texas, where the main attraction is a military base, populated with spoiled army brats like Caleb Miller.
Caleb has much to be angry about too, including Mirriam who turns him down flat in front of everyone. Eager for retribution, Caleb agrees to a dare that will see him take Mirriam to the prom and regain his pride.
But their relationship soon moves beyond high school antics. Mirriam and Caleb are bound together by more than location, and as they are forced to work closely together on a school assignment, they start to uncover an explosive story that has the potential to ruin lives — and both of their futures. One single truth changes everything and strengthens their bond. When Mirriam's family discovers their relationship, they decide it's time to arrange her marriage to a proper Iraqi man. Caleb must convince Mirriam that he is in it for forever — or risk losing her for good. (Goodreads)
A big giant congrats to Beth Fred for the release of this book! It was a treat to read it and I am happy to get to tell you all about it today :)
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It was an interesting take on a subject that has changed and taken so many lives, including the repercussions once soldiers return home. I really liked seeing how the war in Iraq affected both sides--American and Iraqi--and Fred does a great job getting into both sides of arguments and debates spawned by the war. There was quite a bit of blatant racism portrayed by the different characters (always as a bad thing, obviously, and as a means of demonstrating the general outlook of some of the groups), which never settled well with me. What I mean is, I have a hard time seeing racism anywhere and being okay with it, even though I know it's an important issue to address and Fred provides a great example of how not okay it is. It definitely left me thinking and pondering even when I wasn't reading. It amazes me how so much hate can exist, and it just makes me sad.
Caleb and Mirriam's relationship is sweet and endearing, and I liked the alternating point of view to see how each of them saw the incredible breadth of situations they had to face. It also provided a nice counterpoint to the other horrors they dealt with, both through memories and in the problems of war that returned home with soldiers in their military community.
Overall, if you find a story that tackles some heavy issues and takes a hard look at what the war in Iraq meant for the US and Iraq, this is the book for you! :)
Have you read anything by Beth Fred? What do you think about this one? :)