The Beekeeper: Saving the Stolen Women of Iraq

New Directions. Mar. 2018. 240p. tr. from Arabic by Max Weiss. ISBN 9780811226127. $16.95; ebk. ISBN 9780811226134. BIOG
Mikhail, a native of Iraq, returns to her home country from New York to tell the harrowing stories of Yazidi women living under the control of Daesh, known to Westerners as ISIS. A painful, wrenching read, these chronicles expose tremendous horrors of brutal rape, kidnapping, sex slavery, and incomprehensible domination as these women desperately search for some semblance of peace and escape—mental, physical, and emotional. Mikhail's poetic background lends a unique voice to these women in a narrative style that can be difficult to grasp and follow at times.
VERDICT These women need to be heard, making this an important, commendable work. However, the atypical narrative format, which switches gears often and includes granular retellings of phone conversations, subjectively affects the reading experience.
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