Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Cry of the Dove by Fadia Faqir

Cry of the Dove is a tragic story about a young Muslim girl, Salma, who gets pregnant out of wedlock, something her religion forbids. The story follows her from her relationship with Hamdan in her Bedouin village to her journey to England and her attempt to fit into a culture that’s so different from her own. She carries with her the pain and dishonour from her past, yet tries to get on with her life. When her memories continue to haunt her, she makes an agonizing decision to confront her past.

The story flows freely from past to present and then back again. It’s a unique way to tell the story, but it makes it very hard to follow. To make things even more confusing, there didn’t seem to be any chronological order to the jumps. Perhaps some white space inserted in the text (between the jumps) would have helped.

Anyway, because of the writing style, I got lost in the story a few times, but I after I got used to the “time shifts”, I really got into it. It was not only an interesting look at one woman’s life, but also a fascinating look at the Muslim culture. While this story is mainly about Salma, there are plenty of other fascinating characters to follow.

I loved the ending of the story. Although the outcome was shocking, I think that shock was intensified by the way the author wrote it. It was fabulous. It’s likely to stick with me for some time to come.

Recommended for those looking for something a little different.

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