April 19, 2010

How Do You End A Story That's Not Yours?

Saffron Dreams is a fiction novel written by Shaila Abdullah, a Pakistani-American author based in Texas. It is an emotional tale of lost love, unexpected twists of fate, and survival. In a span of 41 days, the main character, Arissa Illahi, went from a blissful married life to bleak widowhood, escaping an attack, ostracized by stereotypical people, and the realization of raising an unborn son alone.

Arissa lost her husband in the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11. After going through the Ground Zero rubble trying to find limbs that will identify her husband, she is forced to realize he is not coming back. He’s gone forever. In going through her husband’s belongings she finds a finished manuscript of 65,000 words. She knows it was his dream to be an author and have his book released. After careful thought, Arissa decides to finish it herself. But how do you end a story that’s not yours?

This book isn’t about how wonderful life is. She isn’t looking at the world through rose-colored shades. Instead, she shares her struggles and lets the readers know that life truly is full of surprises. I believe this story will help the lives of people who were directly affected by 9/11. It will let them know its okay to grieve for lost ones and they aren’t alone.

This is one of the few books that took me through many emotions while reading it. At moments I was elated, others I was just as confused as the main character. What new challenges would life bring as the days carry on? The author, Shaila Abdullah, writes such a descriptive depiction of Arissa's emotions that it translates to the reader. I highly recommend this book for people who have suffered from the loss of a loved one.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

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