Review My Father’s Paradise by Ariel Sabar, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill 2008, 332 pages
FIRST SENTENCE: I am the keeper of my family’s stories.
MOTIVATION for READING: I’ve read some terrific reviews of this (VioletCrush, Ali/Worducopia, ) and I thought it sounded like a perfect memoir for me as I work towards the Minor Level (3 books) in Eva’s World Citizen Challenge.
WHAT it’s ABOUT: A son attempts to understand his father by exploring his family’s cultural heritage.
WHAT’s GOOD: Sabar really brings to life the events that happened to his grandparents and his father as explores every detail along the way to his own life as a product of these cultural changes.
WHAT’s NOT so GOOD: ONLY for a quick second, I was startled by the conversations and feelings Sabar imagined his ancestors having. But I just rolled with it. The first part of the book read like a novel. A good novel but it was still a bit odd to think it was nonfiction and how Sabar had to take liberties with the imagined story. In my opinion, his imagined account is riveting!
FINAL THOUGHTS: Very good. I was thoroughly fascinated by the clash in cultures that Sabar’s father experienced in growing up Jewish in Kurdistan, his abrupt move to Israel when he was 12, growing up in that brand new challenged country and then uprooting again to pursue graduate school in the US. I am inspired to read more about other cultures and recent history (the last 50 years of so) of our world.
RATING: Four pie slices.
Please, please please visit these reviews linked above – they are totally to blame for me requesting this book from the library (THANK YOU!!)
a few more, you want, yes? Though I found these reviews AFTER I had read the book, BermudaOnion and BostonBibliophile provide ever MORE insight and links to help you decide if you, too, want to read this.