Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Fight for Faith and Freedom

This is a review of a book I read for Amazon Vine Reviews. While the story at times was horrifying it was also a true learning experience to read it. I do think though, that it could have been edited a bit better as at times instead of feeling like you were reading about a tortured teenager it seemed like you were reading about a spoiled teenager. The last few pages of the book were very powerful as she showed how our world leaders, including Barack Obama, do not understand the Islamic mind and this will be to our detriment.

My Fight for Faith and Freedom is a gripping autobiography of Sabatina James (writing under a pseudonym) as she grows up first in Pakistan and then in Austria, forced back to Pakistan and then finally back to Austria where she now lives alone and in fear for her life. Why? Because at the age of 10 her parents moved her and the family to Austria where, as children tend to do, she assimilated into the culture of Austria and wanted to be like the other girls. For years she endured beatings, yelling and torture as she tried to live a life of a modern young lady. At one point she was returned to Pakistan to learn to be a good Pakistani woman where she was made to go to a school that was so filthy it was incredible. I had to keep reminding myself that I was reading a book that took place in the Twenty-first Century!

Eventually, she returned to Austria and was given a Bible by a friend she had known earlier from school. She had noticed a huge change in him from drug addicted jerk to clean cut nice guy. As she started to read the Bible he had given her and as she compared it to her Koran beliefs she knew that there was a better way in life. Just having the Bible in her hands was worthy of death by Muslin standards and yet she couldn’t stop reading it and craving the comfort it gave her. When she told her parents that she had converted to Christianity they threw her out of their apartment with no money and told her that unless she repented and went back to Islam she would be killed. To this day she has hid from her parents and their threats and those of the rest of the Muslim community. Every time they manage to track down her phone number, they call her and scream and threaten her over the phone. She now lives her life on the run and in secrecy and yet as much as she can she campaigns for reform to help the women of her world and those children caught up in slave labor.

In many ways, this book seemed very much like the story of a typically rebellious teenager but with parental reactions that are completely over the top. But as Sabatina grows older you realize that there is so much more going on and her last few pages of the book are almost the most powerful, as she tells how so many world leaders have no concept of what the Islamic religion entails. Many woman are being tortured and killed, including being burned alive, in the name of religion. The law of the Muslims is worldwide and if a family or the group has declared death on someone, they don’t care what the laws of the land are, they will carry out the murder for the sake of Allah.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Borders Will now be selling E-Books

I just got an email this morning that Borders is jumping on the ebook bandwagon and starting in June will be selling an ebook reader called Kobo ereader and will be selling e-books from their stores that can be used with any ebook reader including your computer and can also read your own computer files if they are in PDF file. The new reader will run $149.99. So now you have your choice among Amazon's Kindle, Barnes and Noble's Nook or a good old fashioned paper book.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Pray for Silence by Linda Castillo

This is a another Amazon Vine Review I did. I enjoyed this mystery/suspense/thriller and gave it five stars.

This is the second book in the Linda Castillo Amish thriller series called Pray for Silence. I wish I had been able to read the first book prior to reading this one, although this book certainly can stand alone. However, the references to the first book has made me curious about it and I know I would have understood the recurring characters a bit better if I had read it first. Otherwise this book was a very good thriller/suspense novel. The Amish setting made it a bit different even though, in reality with a few adjustments to the story, this could have been the story of any American family that was murdered. The Amish and their pacifism and sense of community seemed to be handled very realistically throughout the book.

An Amish man comes to his neighbors home to help with the morning milking only to discover the husband and two sons are dead in the living room, laying in puddles of blood. When the police arrive, they discover the wife and baby dead of a gunshot wound in the yard and then find the two teenaged daughters in the barn, victims of torture. As this family did not use electricity, the initial investigation is hampered by the lack of lighting and other 'modern' conveniences. At first, the question was had the father murdered the family and then committed suicide or was it murder? As the police chief of the small town starts investigating, things don't add up to what she knows of the Amish for this to have happened. With the discovery of the one girl's diary they finally have some clues to work with and eventually are able to apprehend the killer.

More than just solving a murder, the Chief of Police, Kate Burkholder, is also learning more about herself and her friend and sometimes lover John Tomasetti as they work through their relationship and their own brushes with death and violence in their past. Both are carrying emotional baggage that makes them feel more like real characters than just made up characters for a book.

Pray for Silence is now available for pre-order as it is being published in June 2010.