Monday, June 9, 2014
Review: A Silent Prayer (Samreen Ahsan)
While on the surface this may sound like a standard romance novel, readers will be surprised by the depth of the story and characters. I had a little difficulty getting into the story at the very beginning, but as I read into the next few chapters and discovered two very complex, very flawed and broken characters, I couldn't help but keep reading. There is much more to this story than might first appear.
The overall story was well crafted. It is not only a romantic journey between two people who seem almost determined to prove they should not be together. It is a spiritual journey as well. Adam, a professed atheist, sees little in his past to be grateful for, yet Rania manages to show him the blessings he has been given through her faithful example. I enjoyed learning about the Muslim beliefs regarding angels and satans (or jinns). It was explained in a way that helped readers see Rania's point of view and the reasons behind her choices. There is also a mystical spiritual element to this story, portrayed in a series on strange events that happened between Adam and Rania. These are not explained in this book, but I look forward to learning more about them in the sequel.
The characters themselves are the biggest draw to this story. At times, they are both frustrating to read about, particularly Adam, but they are realistic portrayals of people who have lived difficult lives and no longer understand how to trust and put asides their fears. While Adam bears the brunt of undesirable characteristics, I certainly did not feel as though Rania was a perfect, either. There were times when she behaved foolishly, in ways that hurt Adam deeply. Adam's character is extremely volatile. He is very possessive and struggles to control this impulse. There are times when he borders on unlikable as a character, but then he would turn around and win over both the reader and Rania.
When I began reading this book, I did not realize there was a sequel, which was my own fault. I became frustrated at times that the characters weren't progressing as much as I expected, but once I realized that they had a whole second book to work out there remaining issues, I was okay with how the story had progressed. The end of this book does have a quite abrupt ending, so readers will want to grab a copy of the sequel, "A Prayer Heeded," right away. This book does contain strong language, which some readers may not be comfortable with.