Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Mistress of Abha by William Newton

I was intrigued to read this book because I've always been a fan of Lawrence of Arabia. That being said, I was disappointed in that I would have expected a little more action and adventure. I guess the action and adventure was had by our main character's father however, and some of his story is told within this story. This book is about a son's search for what happened to the man who was his father, but basically was absent from his life for most of his growing up years and consequently was larger than life. On the other side of the coin, however, as I got deeper and deeper into the story, and finally nearing the conclusion, I grew to appreciate the quiet solidity of the story. Maybe there wasn't a better way to tell it. We have a son in search of a father he barely knows but who appears to have disappeared from the face of the earth. We have a setting in a part of the world that is unknown to a number of people, and we have a story set in a time when this part of the world was in a state of change. In the end, when a book or story makes you want to go beyond and investigate some part of it further, then I think that qualifies as a good read. Once I turned the final page, I then turned to the internet to learn more about Abha. I wanted to see pictures of the area the story was set in, and learn more about the peoples that inhabit this desert land. A student of the history of the Arab nations and the Middle East might find this book even more enjoyable than someone who knows very little about this area of the world. Even so, it was still a good novel.

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