Old Reviews! I have a backlog of about 100 reviews to write. Books don't always get reviewed right away for various reasons. Even books I really liked. And then it's been so long it's hard to write the review, because I can't remember them well. So, we're going to take a Good Reads summary and I'll say what I remember and call it a day.
A book from 2007:
From a Crooked Rib Nuruddin Farah
Written with complete conviction from a woman’s point of view, Nuruddin Farah’s spare, shocking first novel savagely attacks the traditional values of his people yet is also a haunting celebration of the unbroken human spirit. Ebla, an orphan of eighteen, runs away from her nomadic encampment in rural Somalia when she discovers that her grandfather has promised her in marriage to an older man. But even after her escape to Mogadishu, she finds herself as powerless and dependent on men as she was out in the bush. As she is propelled through servitude, marriage, poverty, and violence, Ebla has to fight to retain her identity in a world where women are “sold like cattle."
What I remember: This was a hard book to read. Elba's entire life is lived at the mercy of the men in her life. Every time she gets out of one bad situation, she's taken advantage of by another man. At the same time, I loved the language and structure. I also really loved the contrast between country life in a nomadic tribe and city life in Mogadishu. I will also note that this book takes place around the time of Somali independence, so it's not a portrait of modern-day life in the country. There were some themes hinted at, mainly by the men in the city, that dealt with the changing political landscape.
Book Provided by... my local library
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