States of Passion
by Nihad Sirees
This book was chosen to cover the post of Hermes in my Mythothon, which I will link to properly in my next post as I want to update my TBR, but until then check it out on FoxesFairytales wordpress.
So onto the review.
When a hapless bureaucrat finds himself stranded in the countryside during a raging storm, he seeks refuge in a grand yet Isolated mansion, inhabited only by an elderly gentleman and his unwelcoming servant.
Now there is more to the blurb than that but I decided to stop there as that was all that it took for me to want to read this book and I am so glad that I did.
I couldn’t put it down and found that it was not what I expected to be, conplete with lesbian love and forbidden relationships it was a story that had me gripped from the start and one that taught me more than I realised at the time.
It is most certainly worth reading and has openened my eyes.
Gradually, it becomes clear that not only is the old man part of this story, but the butler too. While Nafeh is keen to talk, only his fragile health holding him back, Ismail, his servant, insists the story should not be told. In fact, so adamant is he, he threatens to kill our narrator, and almost does, if he refuses to leave. But his fascination with the story and compassion for the old man, as well as the appalling weather, keeps him hooked.
States of Passion is this exiled Syrian author’s second novel translated from Arabic by Max Weiss and published by Pushkin Press, and was sent to me in the reading in heels box for November.. Although I wouldn’t have risked my own life to hear Widad’s story, I enjoyed learning about the ways Syrian women managed to forge their own paths in a male-dominated culture.