My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was a book I had been looking forward to reading very much, and as I read the first part of the novel, focussing on Omed and his story, I thought it would live up to my expectations. Omed’s life is a dangerous one, full of violence and uncertainty. The scenes where his tongue is cut out were among the most emotionally effecting I have read. I was enjoying Grant’s writing style and flourishes of prose. Then I started reading Hec’s story…and then the story of Hec as an adult trying to reconnect with Omed and it lost me. I found Hec a difficult character to like. I found it difficult to picture him in the situations he found himself. I found it even harder to connect with him as an adult character as I did not know enough about him as a child (in the middle part of the book). Even the ending felt incomplete to me. I was surprised to find myself not really caring whether the two were reunited. It just felt like the story had lost momentum for me and resorted to some cliched media-driven vignettes. My favourite part was the section about Omed and his situation in Afghanistan. To me, that is where the story was and for that I give this book 3 stars. I am disappointed I can’t give this a better write-up, because I certainly expected a lot more.