Days of our Lives!

January 29, 2007

Book Review: Mosaic – Soheir Khashoggi

Filed under: Books — Santhosh @ 10:10 PM
Book Name : Mosaic
Author : Soheir Khashoggi
Genre : Fiction – Family Suspense
Storyline and plot spoiler :
Dina – A wife caught up in every American woman’s situation – handling three roles of wife, mother of three, and career woman in her startup company Mosaic – a floral design business. She believes in America, in the American life. She returns home one fateful day to find her husband has taken her younger children, the 8 yr old twins, with him to his native Jordan never to return. The reason he’s said is for bringing up the twins in an environment of values, ethics, culture, respect, and tradition. She also knows, however, that Jordan is also a land of inequality, male chauvinism, and honour killings. She misses her children above everything, even more than her anger when she realises her husband’s been planning for this, even more than the hurt when she has to give up control of Mosaic to go in search of her children.
Karim – A husband who’s finding it increasingly difficult to accept American culture, especially since he’s very much a Jordanian by heart. His first son, the torchbearer of the family by Jordanian tradition, turns out to be gay. The 9/11 strikes give further cause for concern when his younger children are subjected to prejudice on account of their Muslim surnames and background. His own much beloved job has now turned into one of open hostility and microscopic scrutiny since he’s an Arab. He worries about how his children are being affected by the American culture, where freedom is degenerated into irresponsibility and unethical immorality. America corrupted them but wouldn’t accept them. Inspite of their love for each other, he knows Dina would never leave America. He sacrifices being with her for his younger children’s upbringing and flies home with them to Jordan.
Who will win? Dina turns to private detective John Constantine who takes up the assignment and decides that the only way is to kidnap her children back from Karim and his influential family, and file for divorce. Dina comes to Jordan and stays at Karim’s house, and under the guise of visiting her children plans for abducting them back. Karim understands what is happening and does everything in his family’s political power to stop it. In the meantime both are confused as the children seem to love the big-family atmosphere and the love & attention, but also want to go back to America.
Comment :
Tastefully written, the novel doesn’t take sides and brings up a mother’s anguish of being separated from her children against a father’s conviction of bringing up his children in the right way. The taut storytelling keeps the suspense high throughout, and the plot twists are both surprising and realistic, as the author wisely avoids both thriller clichĂ©s and post-9/11 politics to engineer a series of believable, thought-provoking compromises.
My Rating : 4.5/5
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