by Rebecca G (Havertown, pa): Ava Homa’s book is one of the most important books I’ve read in a long time. Probably most people don’t know the history of the Kurds. I didn’t realize that their country was divided after World War I between Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria. The result of this was Kurdish men became second class citizens, oppressed, suppressed, often imprisoned and murdered at the whim of sadistic leaders. Women were considered subhuman, brutalized, often abandoned, often raped but always under extreme restrictions. Ms. Homa describes many of these brutalities and they are difficult to read. The story revolves around the family Samas, particularly their daughter, Leila. Her father is a broken man after being unjustly imprisoned, her mother lives in misery and commits acts that are unspeakable in their culture and her brother, Chia becomes more and more determined to do what he can to save his people. No matter what she does, Leila is unable to break free of her severe restrictions and spends her life despondent to the point of suicide. But when her brother is labeled a martyr she spreads his words and places her own life in danger. This is an incredible book about despair, brutality, hopelessness but it becomes a book of redemption and hopefulness.