It is official.
Swapna Krishna of S. Krishna Books is the well-kept secret of the book review world. I was blown away by her review of Saffron Dreams and the depth of her plot and character analysis. When I read her review, I experienced one of those “Aha” moments that is every author’s dream. It’s when a reader truly get the book.
I didn’t want to pick and choose an excerpt, so I am including it here in its entirety.
“When I first heard about Saffron Dreams, I was really intrigued. The story of a Muslim woman who lost her husband in the World Trade Center attacks seemed compelling and timely. Indeed, after reading the book, I am moved at how beautifully and tenderly Ms. Abdullah handled a controversial subject and made the book about our common humanity, rather than about the differences that divide us.
What really struck me about Saffron Dreams is that the 9/11 attacks aren’t the only serious subject addressed in this small novel. Abdullah manages to talk about racism, fundamentalism, widowhood, culture clashes, and the challenges of raising a child with disabilities within its pages. With all those weighty topics, you would think the book would be a heavy read, but surprisingly, it isn’t. Instead, it’s an honest look at the life of a woman trying to live a normal life while chaos is reigning around her.
Despite the seeming lack of hope in Saffron Dreams‘ premise, the book is full of wonder. The novel is never depressing; even in the darkest times, Arissa never seems to lose that hope that the future will be a brighter, happier place. That feeling permeates the novel, leaving the reader with a sense of optimism after the last pages are turned.
Abdullah’s writing is crisp, sharp and clear. She does not mince words; her writing is very precise, each word chosen carefully. Her words have a way of conveying raw emotion; because they are so stark, the feelings are so much more clear and powerful on the page. It’s a wonderful writing style for a novel such as this.
In the end, the message I took away from the novel is that what we, as citizens of this earth, have in common is much greater than all those differences than set us apart from one another. We must look to our common humanity to bring us together. This is a message full of hope and love, much like Saffron Dreams itself.
I thoroughly enjoyed Saffron Dreams and recommend it to anyone interested in multicultural fiction – it’s a great read and you won’t be disappointed. I am eager to pick up Shaila Abdullah’s book of short stories, Beyond the Cayenne Wall.”
I also shared some publishing secrets with Book Publication Secrets of Authors. Take a look.