The Education of Amal
Reviewed by Christine Watson for Reader Views (5/13)
Article first published as Book Review: The Education of Amal by Shirin Humzani on Blogcritics.
“The Education of Amal” by ShirinHumzani is an interesting and suspenseful drama that kept me captivated throughout the book. I found myself drawn into the characters’ lives through the author’s words.
This book is not set in the United States, and the author does not say where this story is set, which was frustrating for me because I like to know all the details of the setting. The story was unique because it was not set in the United States, so I got to see how individuals from another culture, (I’m assuming Middle Eastern), interact with one another. Amal is a young girl just starting university, and the story is based on her life and struggles. Hunter (Haseeb) is a young man at the same university who becomes entangled with Amal. There are villains in the story who provide plenty of suspense for the reader.
There are a few similarities between the culture portrayed in this book and the U.S. culture, but there were also many differences, which I found to be very interesting. The most significant difference was around the role of gender in each culture. Other cultural differences I noticed were the importance placed on a virtuous reputation and the formal form of communication between family and friends. It is much different than the United States. I was fascinated to learn more about this different culture through this fictitious story.
I would recommend “The Education of Amal” by ShirinHumzani to anyone wanting to read a unique type of suspenseful novel with a touch of romance. I found myself drawn to the characters as I got to know them throughout the book. My emotions ranged from anger and disgust to joy and sorrow and I had a better understanding of a culture very different from my own here in the United States. I really enjoyed reading this book and I think most people can learn from this story while being entertained as well.