One Syrian Summer

Rated 4.89 out of 5 based on 9 customer ratings
(9 customer reviews)

£8.99

  • Author Name: Dorothy Al Khafaji
  • Publication Date: 28/07/2018
  • Format: Paperback

In stock

ISBN: 9781912362936

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When Omar sets off for Syria with a group of friends he has no idea of the implications for his family in Baghdad. His sister, Alia, becomes entangled in a seemingly inescapable web of espionage which threatens to destroy a budding romance while his parents, Hala and Emir, are driven apart. Initially, the friends plan to work as aid workers for one summer only, but Omar and three others, Mo, Nasir and Ahmed, decide to stay on. Nothing is too dangerous for them if it will help the local community, so they take on tasks far beyond routine humanitarian work, running the gauntlet of aid blockades and working in outlawed field hospitals. They even plan and orchestrate a sabotage attack against ISIS, after which the friends are forced to flee.

Nasir sets out across the Syrian desert while Omar and Mo head for Damascus. Penniless and without a place to stay, they still manage to appropriate and distribute impounded medical supplies to the outlawed field hospitals. While working in one Mo is seriously wounded and transferred in secret to a hospital, leaving Omar to hitch a lift home with the rebel fighters who are travelling to Mosul to join the battle against ISIS. Meanwhile, his eldest sister, Lena, running away from a broken heart, has become an aid worker in war-torn Yemen. While there she is faced with a life- threatening decision which could endanger both her life and that of her colleagues. Faced with the potential disasters which threaten their family, Hala and Emir must put their differences aside and help sort out the problems of their troublesome offspring.

Dorothy Al Khafaji lives in Cardiff, Wales. She first went to Syria when she was driving from the UK to Baghdad in 1962 with her late husband and baby daughter. Dorothy lived in Iraq for 8 years and became very familiar with the local culture as an Iraqi wife. Life in Iraq later became difficult and Dorothy returned to live in the UK with her four children. After completing her studies she taught in various colleges and settled in Wales, where she later set up and ran private day nurseries. Dorothy is now retired.

9 reviews for One Syrian Summer

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Mrs Dolan

    Dorothy Al Khafaji writes an engaging story of individuals dealing with ISIS, the war in Syria and post-Saddam Iraq. Her knowledge of these situations provides insights into cultures and beliefs perhaps little understood in the West. The book leads the reader to question & understand the responses of individuals in complex situations – for example, when a Doctor is faced with the choice of allowing a woman to die in labour rather than performing a ceasarian because the cultural norms dictate that the husband or father has to give permission for such an operation, or the actions of aid workers when negotiating with different armed factions. I found the characters to be well drawn so I kept turning the pages to find out what happened to them. This book is engaging. If you like Khaled Hosseini’s Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns then you will like this.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Bet

    I enjoyed this book a lot. The twists in the plot were completely unexpected and the characters really came alive for me. I couldn’t wait to find out what happens to them next as they make their way from country to country. Their work takes them from Iraq to Syria, even Yemen, and wherever they go they are in the midst of conflict. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good adventure story with a touch of romance thrown in.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Z. Williams

    Wow I loved this book I couldn’t put it down, the ending was a surprise, realy wasn’t expecting that. The writer made the characters come to life, it’s real well written. I can’t wait for her next book.

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Raluca M

    I loved this book and just couldnt wait to get back to it every night. I felt that despite telling a story which had a terrible war in the background – the romance and family affairs were all painted in very vivid culours, gently taking the edge away at the right time from the more dramatic, but very real events. It basically taught me that life goes on ..no matter what! I found reading about local traditions extremely interesting and gained some good knowledge for myself.

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Zane

    I enjoyed this book a lot. The twists in the plot were completely unexpected and the characters really came alive for me. I couldn’t wait to find out what happens to them next as they make their way from country to country. Their work takes them from Iraq to Syria, even Yemen, and wherever they go they are in the midst of conflict. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good adventure story with a touch of romance thrown in.

  6. Rated 4 out of 5

    Random Books Lover

    This topical page turner leaves you guessing right to the end as to who will survive and prosper and who will fall. The author’s knowledge of the culture shines through, giving the adventures of an ordinary family caught up in extraordinary, highly dangerous times an authenticity that cannot be faked. A jolly good read that will appeal to both lovers of adventure stories and lovers of family sagas.

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    Dai Pen Lamp

    This engaging tale feels so lifelike that at times I thought I was reading news headlines about ISIS, Yemen etc. The family trials and tribulations are well drawn and kept me turning pages to discover the outcomes. A good read.

  8. Rated 5 out of 5

    Hyder Saleh

    Really enjoyable read! It great to learn about all the characters as the plot twists and turns, and I loved the jaw dropping ending! Buy this book if you want an exciting read – you won’t want to put it down!

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    Lorraine Grey

    An exciting book very well written a real page turner. All the characters were interesting, hoping for a sequel.

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