Saturday, September 15, 2012

Par None, the Best Fiction Book on the Conflict in the Middle East

The Watch had me from the very first paragraph, hell, I was in near tears at the end of the first chapter. A simply phenomenal book. Impossible to put down, and even harder to stop thinking about. The Watch  opens with a young Middle Eastern woman traveling far across the mountains to an American military base in order to collect her brother's body after a failed attack on the fort (retaliation for the bombing of her village) and bury it according to Muslim custom. Arriving at the base she is met with hostility because they believe her to be a terrorist or a "black widow" and they refuse to give her her brother's body because they think he is an important figure in the Taliban. However, after a few days the men at the base start to empathize with her plight and it throws them into a deep dark depression. What were they here fighting for really? Weren't they supposed to be helping this country? Why were they having to deny this young injured native woman her brother's body? Each chapter has a different narrator, from the young girl to the lieutenant, doctor, first lieutenant, translator, to captain. The story gains more significance as it is viewed through each character's eyes.

Overall, absolutely stunning. You feel as though you are with them in the blazing hot desert and you feel all their pain and helplessness. It's a truly gripping tale that exemplifies all the important questions about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the lasting consequences it will have on the country's citizens and on the American soldiers when they get back home. Seriously, what an amazing read. 5 out of 5 stars.

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