Book Reviews · Reading Challenges

ARC August Review: Full Circle by Regina Timothy

37706656Summary: Eight years after the 9/11 attacks, Samia-Al-Sayyid an Iraqi immigrant is living a quiet life in New York City after she fled her home to avoid imminent death.

She works hard for her cold, heartless, high-strung boss, loves her seventeen-years-old-son, and cherishes the close friendship she has formed with her best friend Susan.

Nothing can go wrong, or so she thinks – until the estranged brother she left back in Iraqi shows up on her door step. Then she finds herself in a cab, on her way to the hospital to identify her son, a terror suspect who has blown the city, and with it her boss’ husband, and her best friend’s son. With everything lost, she is forced to flee to Iraq where she confronts her past. Will she make peace with her past? Can she get forgiveness for all the damage she has caused?

Full Circle is a contemporary fiction tale of friendship, family, and hope. It explores the devastation of loss, the great capacity to forgive and the lengths our loved ones will go to protect us.

*I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review!*

My Thoughts: This is a powerful story.  I went into this book with no idea what to expect, and I was surprised by how invested I became in these character’s lives.  The story follows Samia, an Iraqi immigrant living in America with her son, her best friend Susan, who is maneuvering life as a single mother after the loss of her husband, and their boss, Melisa, a fashion mogul with a brother fighting in Iraq.  The story begins 8 years after the 9/11 attacks in NYC, and we see how the aftermath of this event has affected the lives of these three very different women.  What I loved most about this book, was that it showed all sides of the conflict and didn’t shy away from anything.  It showed a very realistic picture of society and the tense relations in such a turbulent time.  Samia lived a rough life, and I felt sympathy and anger for her situation immediately.  It was a very interesting perspective to read from, especially since I don’t know much about the Iraqi culture.  Some of her story was difficult to read, and definitely brought out some strong emotions in me.  Melisa was not a likeable character at first, but throughout the book you get glimpses into what makes her tick.  Does it make how she treats people acceptable? No, but you understand her pain and it gives her a lot more depth.  Susan’s story is really sad, and just shows how much strength she has.  I know that I would not have had the strength to react to everything in the way Susan does.  I can’t imagine going through what any of these women deal with in this book.  The ending doesn’t tie up the way I expected or wanted for these characters, and I admit that I was a bit frustrated with the way things turned out, but it is haunting and I can understand why it ended this way.  While I loved the plot and was fully engaged in the story and the characters, the writing was a little choppy for me which took me out of it at times.  There were a bunch of grammatical errors and a couple continuity discrepancies that I noticed as well, but overall it was a haunting, different, and emotional story that I fully enjoyed.

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