Silence Is a Sense by Layla AlAmmar
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
An introspective and informative piece that will affect you in ways that you didn’t think were possible while reading a book. I find that I learn about what’s going on around the world best when I read it in the pages of a novel. Even if it’s fiction, I can still get a personal sense of what’s going on, and then I’m inspired to read more into the truth and history. This is the type of book that makes me want to delve more into what was happening on the ground, not from my vantage point of viewing media coverage.
What first drew me in was the immediate observations and people watching done by the main character of her surrounding neighbors. This type of voyeurism is always fascinating and thrilling even if it’s borderline creepy or invasive, but her careful and constant monitoring of the other tenants in and around her building are often the catalysts in this story. Different characters from around the world are all residing in these apartment buildings and it is intriguing to watch their different lives play out.
However, watching the main character grow and develop, sort through trauma and pain, adapt and overcome, is the main attraction. Stretching herself slowly and steadily testing the boundaries of what she finds safe and comfortable is what drives this story forward to its almost conclusion, because it never really ends, even when the last page is turned. Instead, you are offered a glimpse of hope into a future where she continues to heal and cope and live despite her past struggles, whilst never forgetting her true roots and heritage.
Reading this was an absolute privilege and I am thankful to Algonquin for granting me an advanced copy.
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