Layla Fiske has painted a beautiful picture of a world I really never stopped to consider; the Holy Land in the years before, during, and after World War I. She leaves the reader with no doubt that she knows the customs, the dress, the food, and the climate of the time and the place. Her characters are human in their failings and in their accomplishments. No one is perfect and all pay self-imposed penance for the crimes they believe themselves to have committed.
There were times I wanted to shake Jabran and shout at him to stop being such a fool but then I realized his only foolishness was in being a good man.
There were times I wanted to hug Nisrina and tell her that she hadn’t done anything to deserve the pain she thinks she deserves but then I realized she had to do what she did or she couldn’t be the woman she wanted to be.
The book is a time and a place that most of us never thought about. With our twenty-first century minds, we might even say that things should not have been the way they were then. We would be wrong. The author has convinced me of that.
The only reason this book doesn’t get five stars from me is the timing of things. Once Jabran and Nisrina get married, the years mentioned in the book only span four years or so based on the dates mentioned. The problem is that Nisrina and her children grow and change very quickly in those years. Too much happens, I suppose is the best way to put it, for it all to fit in the time-frame. Or maybe I’m just being picky.
Either way, I’m so happy I had the chance to read this book and I will read it again. I know I missed things.
*I won a copy of The Fig Orchard in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.
**This is the review I posted on Goodreads, copied exactly as posted there.