Review by Shirley Hord
Abdullah shares with us the stories of seven women native to South Asia. Except for one, all have marriages arranged by their parents for them. Happily, several of these arrangements work, while in others the women exist in cultural and religious prisons of the marriage. Poverty pervades the lives of two of them, while incest and sexual betrayal colors the existence of others. Several have found love and success in America in new lives, while yearning for the days and environments of their childhoods.
Abdullah takes us into the hearts and minds, and daily existence of these women, young and aged. Her exquisite language, describing the native settings are in stark contrast with the lives of several of these women. While one harbors a dreadful secret that she expects to ruin her life, another finds horror in the secret of her parentage. How these women cope, through hope, intelligence, and hard work, is the universal story of all humankind, and binds us globally together. Her stunningly beautiful prose and elegant iridescent descriptions of the land that these women love is juxtaposed with the brutality and coarseness of their everyday hopeless existence.
The language purrs along, while the plots take their inexorable toll of the actors. The reader is treated to a rich mix of beautiful poetic prose sparkling with lovely phrases and iridescent descriptions of the land that these women love. The language adds immeasurably to the appeal of this manuscript. Beyond the Cayenne Walls is a must read for anyone hoping to gain insights into our global world and its geo-political regions.
--Shirley Hord, author of Implementing Change