Sunday, 5 July 2009

Quick review: Burned Alive - Souad

Lent to me by Evil Vampire Penguin, Burned Alive isn't the usual type of book that I read. I wouldn't have picked it up in a bookstore, it wouldn't have jumped out at me. That said, I will read anything, and since Sarah and myself generally like the same things, I gave it a look.

It's not a new book, you may have heard of it, or read it. But for those of you that haven't, Burned Alive tells the true story of a girl, who calls herself Souad. She was able to write it because of repressed memory therapy, and so the story can seem sketchy and vague at times.

Souad, at the age of seventeen, commits the worst crime imaginable to her strict Palestinian family. She falls in love with her neighbour, loses her virginity out of wedlock, and falls pregnant. Betrayed by her beloved, she tries to hide her pregnancy for as long as she can, but, inevitably, she is found out.
With her family deeply shamed, they decide that to get their honour back, Souad must be killed. What follows is absolutely horrific. She is doused in petrol, and set alight.
She is rescued by some women in her community, and left in hospital. She recieves no care from the medical staff, and is treated with scorn and distaste. However, luckily for Souad, an aid worker takes on her case, and, eventually, manages to get Souad and her young baby out of the country, and into a hospital in Switzerland. From there, she begins to get her life back on track.

I'm not going to go into more detail, in case anyone reading this post decides to try the book. I will just say that it ends on a happy note, with Souad getting the better life that so many of the women from The West Bank deserve, but don't recieve.

Sometimes hard to believe, sometimes sad, always shocking, this is a book I'm glad to have read. It has opened my eyes wide to the suffering of women still treated lower than second class citizens.

(No rating for this book, I feel it would be slightly crude to rate a story like this..)


The Jelly Monster said...

I'm waiting for my friend to send me the first twilight book, until then I might pick this one up.....

Daily Daydreamer said...

@Jelly - You's a quick read, took me two days to get through it, and it's been taking me longer than usual to get through books lately..

CranberryScone said...

You SUCK! I hate Twilight! You're lame! and retarded! and I hear you walk like a gimp! Yadayadayada TWILIGHT SUCKS A BIG ONE!
And I'm just taking time out my exciting life so enlighten you! But it wont work! Cause everyone who likes Twilight is a STUPID HEAD!!!



CranberryScone said...

In other news, I read the first two books and I'm hooked!!
I can't say they're well written. Or in any way unique... but by george they're entertaining!
And I cried like a baby in book two!


Consider me converted!