Gripping is defined as: Taking and keeping a firm hold of; grasping tightly.
A simple word really…when you actually think about it; BUT one that can potentially hold mounds of meaning.
Yesterday I gripped my husband’s hand as we watched TV. The day before that, I gripped a fishing pole with 3 year old daughter.
Gripping: Taking a keeping a firm hold on things.
People. Objects. Memories. Emotions. Stories. Shadow on the Wall.
“Recai Osman: Muslim, philosopher, billionaire and Superhero?
Controversial and daring, Shadow on the Wall details the transformation of Recai Osman from complicated man to Superhero. Forced to witness the cruelty of the Morality Police in his home city of Elih, Turkey, Recai is called upon by the power of the desert to be the vehicle of change. Does he have the strength to answer Allah’s call or will his dark past and self doubt stand in his way?
Pulling on his faith in Allah, the friendship of a Jewish father-figure and a deeply held belief that his people deserve better, Recai Osman must become The SandStorm.
In the tradition of books by Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie, Shadow on the Wall tackles issues of religion, gender, corruption and the basic human condition. Beautiful and challenging, this is not a book to miss.”
In all honesty, this book is not going to be for everyone. I feel it necessary to state this up front for those of you that flock to everything I put a five star rating on. (With or without reading the review – *cough* Mom!) If you are easily offended by the mistreatment of women (Think “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “Speak”) and have a difficult time handling touchy subjects such as religion, then this is NOT the book for you. But…if you are drawn to books that have a deeper meaning, that bewitch you with their flawless plots (regardless of the harshness of the events that reside in them) AND urge you to believe in hope when even the characters themselves feel as though all hope is lost. Read this book immediately.
I cry when I read. This is something that I have come to accept and finally appreciate. While my husband thinks I’ve lost my mind for weeping over a few smudges of black ink (his words, not mine) I view it as the mark of expert craftsmanship. Not all books draw on something deep inside of you, some are simply read and then discarded. A brief hiatus from reality and then back to the grind. Others strike cords. “Shadow on the Wall” was one of those books for me. It not only stuck a cord, it gripped it, chopped it into tiny pieces and then fed it back to me on a silver platter.
At 20% in, I found myself in the throws of chest wracking sobs. Something that HASN’T happened to me since the ugliness of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Much like Larsson, Tyler laid all of her cards on the table. She opened her characters up to the most unthinkable of human acts (rape) and she did so in a way that made the agony of it feel palpable. I was inside of that room, and though I wanted to (much like Tyler’s lead Recai) I couldn’t force my eyes away from it. It was a fact of this characters existence and I had to watch as it happened, to turn away would be cowardice.
It’s this single event that shapes the remainder of the story, and the emotions that ran thick throughout it.
Recai is all of the things stated above: Muslim, philosopher, billionaire, superhero. But much like our childhood superheros (for example: Batman) he he was thrust into his circumstances due to some deep-seeded issues of loss, revenge, and guilt.
Let me paint the picture differently. (It might help you to understand the driving force behind the actions in this book.) In “Casino Royale” James Bond (despite his many lovers in other movies) finally develops legitimate feelings for a woman named Vesper Lynd. At the end of this movie, she is killed. In the next installment of the series (“Quantum of Solace”) Bond is controlled by his anger and pain. He feel responsible for Vesper’s demise and because of this “responsibility” (however misguided it may be) he sets out to avenge her. The same could be said for Recai in “The Shadow on the Wall.” A horrible (but very brief) moment in his life takes a hold of his consciousness and develops into uncontrollable anger and pain. However, unlike Bond, his guilt is what fuels him not his anger, and eventual all of these emotions morph him into a man hell bent on correcting corruption.
With that…a superhero is born.
Though the plot is very segregated (allowing the reader insight through several different perspectives) it is fluid, well thought out, and intricate enough to engage ALL of your senses. Tyler does a wonderful job of incorporating Turkey’s cultural aspects (and language) without drowning the reader, and though some might feel (initially) turned off by it’s religious connotations, I assure you that by 50% your mind will be focused on a bigger picture.
In short. I loved this book, and cannot wait for the second installment. If for no other reason than my emotional connection to Recai.
Live it. Love it. Pass it on.
Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: you don’t have to stand up for everyone, but you can’t turn your back on everyone either.