Escape from Aleppo by N.H. Senzai serves as a primer on the horrible war that has raged in Syria for 7 years. The novel seems right out of the headlines, but also gives the reader a background of the history of Syria and why its people cherish their country. The story is about 14-year-old Nadia who is separated from her family after their home and neighborhood is bombed. She knows that her family is trying to escape to Turkey, but she is not certain how to get there through the destroyed city. The family leaves messages that help her. Senzai fleshes out the story with flashbacks that fills in Nadia’s background and experiences. I marvel at the characterizations, especially the elderly, mysterious man, Ammo Mazen, who takes on the responsibility of guiding Nadia to find her family. Ammo makes stops as they travel through the city that are intriguing. In one place, he and Nadia encounter people trying to save and preserve artifacts from the city’s libraries and museums. Nadia’s character is also well-drawn. Her growing grit and courage make the reader root for her. In spite of the difficulties Nadia suffers, she helps other–even protecting and taking along on the journey an orphaned 8-year-old boy she finds abandoned.
Escape from Aleppo is a page turner that kept me reading late into the night. It certainly gave me a better understanding of the Syrian war. This is the first book I have read by Senzai and I will read more. She has written other books that convey the plight of characters that live in Afghanistan, Syria and India. – Recommended by Marilyn Carpenter, Professor Emeritus, Eastern Washington University
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
PubDate: January 30, 2018
Read more about Escape from Aleppo in the Spring 2018 issue of WOW Review.
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