4.5 disco balls
Publish Date: July 24, 2018 by Atria Books
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Cultural
I came across Silent Hearts during one of my many NetGalley searches and was lured in by the message that it would appeal to fans of Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns; my most recommended book. There is no doubt that Gwen Florio is an extremely talented writer. Her words created a setting in which I could easily visualize the scenes themselves (which is usually hard for me, I am more of a dialogue fan than description for that reason). Her years as a journalist – and experience covering conflict zones – aided in her crafting the unlikely friendship between Liv and Farida, our two protagonists in Silent Hearts.
Liv is married to Martin (a character whom I detest) whose work with a non-governmental organization will bring them to Kabul, Afghanistan after the September 11th terrorist attacks. At first it is Martin’s expertise that is sought after, but you will come to find that Liv is the backbone of the operation. Farida is hired as a local interpreter to aid Martin and Liv’s transition. Farida comes from a progressive family: she is educated, speaks several languages, and has held a job. Her family needs her dowry and marries her off to Gul – an uneducated man from a well off, very strict traditional family – freedoms she once enjoyed are compromised and a new frightening world awaits. Her father-in-law has motives of his own when he lets her take a job as an interpreter. In a place where women are not respected, it will be Martin who treats his wife more poorly than Gul will treat Farida.
At the 85% mark my heart started pumping with anger, fear, and anticipation. I was scared for the future of these two women that I had grown so fond of. They put themselves in danger every day for other women, and other women are shown to do the same. The story will come full circle and you will realize the placement of certain characters and scenarios were carefully crafted. This will not be the last of author Florio’s work that I will read: the only question is which one will I start with?
Have you read Gwen Florio’s work and have a recommendation? Do tell!
I received an arc of this book from NetGalley for my honest review.
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