Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Daughters of Iraq

I love reading.  Because I am Jewish, I especially love reading books about other Jewish people.  I don't go out of my way to search for Jewish novels, but I love coming across them.  When I was approached to review Daughters of Iraq by Revital Shiri-Horowitz, I was thrilled to not only get to read about Jews, but to read about Jews from Iraq (which I have never done before).

The book revolves around three main characters: sisters Farida and Violet and Violet's daughter, Noa.  We get to know Noa and Farida through her present day experiences.  We get to know Farida both in the past and in the present time.  We get to know Violet through a diary she started keeping for her children after she was diagnosed with cancer.  

Farida and Violet's family had to emigrate to Israel from Iraq in the early 20th century.  They had to leave because they were Jews and were not safe in Iraq anymore.  They left all of their wealth behind to start over anew in Israel.

Even though this is a fictional book, it is amazing to watch Noa get to know her mom in a way that she never knew her before.

For Jews and non-Jews alike, I highly recommend this book.  Below is a guest post from Revital titled Writing, family and love.  Please read the guest post and then be sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the page.

Writing, family and love
by Revital Shiri-Horowitz

Love is a motto in my life. I aim for love, give love and know that love is the answer to all society's sickness. If we had more love in our troubled world, life would be so much better. I sometimes find myself singing to myself “Imagine” by John Lennon, thinking how clever those words are, and how unlucky he was losing his life to violence.

Love to my husband brought me to marry him and have four boys with him. We lived together for three years before we got married, and just celebrated twenty years of marriage, which put our life together for a total of twenty-three years. (And I may say “knock on wood” for good luck.) I met my husband at a party and fell in love with him then. He is the love of my life, the food to my soul. Thanks to my husband and his constant support I have “A Room of My Own” and I can write.

When I started working on my first novel I was 35. Until then, I never thought of myself as a poet or an author. It took a long time for me to realize that this is what I really would like to do “when I grow up…” I'd written poetry since I was a young child, and wrote diaries since I was ten. I also wrote just a few short stories through the years, but really did not see myself as an author, until one day, while I was a Masters degree student in Tel-Aviv University, something made me angry.

Anger has always been a motivation for me. I aim to change the world to make it into a better place. I am eager to protect the groups of people not getting justice. So there I was... I met a subject that had no justice in my point of view, and that injustice brought me to write my novel, Daughters of Iraq, a novel based on my family's exodus from Iraq to Israel in the 1950s, during a time of Iraqi persecution against their Jews.

It was out of anger, and out of love of writing their story that I was able to complete and publish Daughters of Iraq. When I lecture about my book I always have tears in my eyes from telling my family's story.

Family always comes first for me. I put them first, and this is the reason things take a long time for me to write. Writing my first novel took five years. During that time we had our fourth child. I chose to focus on my kids first. I've been working on a second novel for about four years now, hoping to finish writing it next summer. I call it “baby steps.” I am working slowly toward publishing it. I am working slowly toward being noticed in the whole world. I dream out of love and I dream out of passion. And I dream one day soon now my books will be on shelves in every house.

Be blessed wherever you are, Revital

Links for Revital Shiri-Horowitz:
Barnes & Noble:

The Giveaway:
Please comment below on how love has helped you accomplish what's important to you and enter to win a copy of Daughters of Iraq. In one week, Revital will pick a winner of this book! Available in any ebook format or as a paper copy. Also available in English or in Hebrew. Let us know the format and language when you contact your about winning! We will ship you a copy anywhere in the world.

For the Giveaway Grand Prize: Everyone who comments is eligible to win a lovely Mama Nazima's Jewish Iraqi Cuisine ( Revital will pick a lucky winner at the end of November 2011 and can ship anywhere in the world. Good luck!


What people are saying about Daughters of Iraq:

Flawless narrative and wonderfully drawn characters, whom I came to know and love. -- Georgina Young, Author of The Time Baroness,

Revital's story touches the soul with human kindness, loss, tenderness, hope, the circle of love that weaves all hearts together, a delicate golden thread tying generations into one tapestry of life./Jackie Madden Haugh, My life in a Tutu,

Truly, Revital, I have no words to praise you... You novel one of the best I ever read... --Olga at

I felt that I was actually living within this inspiring story, and with each turn of the page, I became more and more a part of this sad, happy, and historical story. --Simon Palmer, Author of Loosing to Hate

In a twisting plot with intriguing characters Shiri-Horowitz grasps the attention of the reader in a novel that is both instructive and heartfelt. --Anthony Blumfield on

I was provided a copy of this book to read and the author is providing a book to the winner.  No other compensation was received.

3 comments: said...

I would love to read this, it sounds very interesting.
Diane Baum

Sand said...

Sounds like a great book! Love has helped me though various obstacles in my life.

Donna said...

Loving children helped me adopt children.