Book Title: Entangled Lives
Author: Imran Omer
Genre: Culture – Pakistan, Historical Fiction
Part of a series? No
Order in series:
Best read after earlier books in series? No
I scored this book 5/5
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️
Short Summary of the book:
This book tells the story of a young orphan, Raza, who lives in the slums of Pakistan. One day he is offered an education at a madrassah. It is a strict life, where he suffers abuse from the mullah, Fazal.
During this time he meets Perveen, a girl he falls in love with. After they flee from the city to escape an arranged marriage for Perveen, they have a brief reprieve.
She is, however, captured and sent to prison. Raza learns about her pregnancy and knows there is a price on his head. He returns to the madrassah and Fazal, whose main aim in life is to make money from the boys he trains. He sells them to the Taliban to fight in Afghanistan. Against all odds, Raza survives, meets an American journalist, Rachael and they meet again once he is imprisoned in America.
What I liked about the book:
I particularly liked the description of the characters in this book. Raza was a likeable boy, who grew up to be a decent man, even if he was fighting for the Taliban and considered by the wide world to be a terrorist. He remains compassionate where others are hardened by the war they are fighting. Raza continues to worry about Perveen and their baby and learns his son has been sent to the madrassah. He cares for his son, although he has never met him, and wishes to protect and safe him. The relationship between Rachael and Raza is also very warmly described. It was difficult to put the book down, something which is always a good sign.
What I didn’t like about the book:
I was sorry when the book ended. I wanted to know what happened next and what became of Raza, Perveen, their baby, Rachael and her family.
My favourite bits in the book:
I loved where Raza and Perveen ran away and had a brief reprieve from the harshness of the life they lived. I also loved the decision Rachael made at the end of the book and now wonder what happened next.
My least favourite bits in the book:
I didn’t like it when the book ended and no final answers were forthcoming. What happens to the characters next? I wonder whether any further books are planned to follow on from this one.
Any further books in the series? Any more planned by this author?
I don’t know if there are any follow-ons planned for this book. It would be nice to read what happened next.
What books could this be compared to and why?
I’m not sure what to compare this book to. It approaches the terrorism issue from a completely different angle. Young, vulnerable and poor boys, who are groomed and brainwashed to fight in a war they don’t really believe in. So different from how we normally hear it on the news.
In summary, I would recommend this book for the following readers:
Young Adult Possibly
If you like Fiction based on real issues, this book might be the book for you.
I look forward to reading more books by this author.
Book Description by Author:
Raza, a poor orphan trapped in the slums of Pakistan, is sent to a strict madrassah where he meets and falls in love with Perveen. They attempt to flee the city to escape their respective fates but fail. Perveen, pregnant, is sent back to her family, and Raza is sent to Afghanistan to fight as a Taliban solider. American journalist, Rachael Brown, travels to Afghanistan to cover the political unrest. When she meets Raza for a brief interview, she sees for the first time the true face of the Taliban: poor and desperate young men with nowhere else to go. As the war unfolds, their paths cross again, and each must decide what they owe the other.