Before I do my review, I have to put up this disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for a highly discounted price through Tomoson and the publisher. Any and all opinions expressed in this review are mine and mine alone. I received no financial compensation for this review. At the end of the review, I will include a links to Amazon for the paperback and Kindle version. Now, onto my review.
A passionate and forbidden love story between an Israeli woman and a Bedouin man in the heart of the Sinai Desert, are at the center of this dramatic erotic thriller.
It tells the story a of a young woman in search of her own identity, and the journey that will transform her from “Leah” into “Layla,” in which she will discover that beneath the desert’s calm surface deep desires, fascinating fairytales and secret myths prevail.
Her tantalizing encounter with the people of the desert will make her trail between joy and danger, desire and tragedy and onto an unpredictable ending.
The book was first published in 1985 and became a bestseller.
The film inspired by the book was released in 2002 and won best film and best script at the Manchester Independent Film Festival in the US.
A word of warning. This book has an underlying message of female circumcision/genital mutilation (the author does include this in the forward) and the damage it does. So please keep a very open mind when reading this book. I skipped the forward, read the book, then decided to reread it from the forward on and it changed my view of the book entirely. At the end of this review, I will include a link to OrchidProject.org and you can read more about female circumscision/genital mutilation there. It is not an easy topic to talk about and I do hope that the link will help raise awareness.
After I reread the book, it was not an easy book to read. The relationship between Leah/Layla and her husband was a hard one to read. Not only because of the female circumcision but because of the spousal abuse that happened to her. I read those scenes with bated breath and cried afterwards.
There was a point in the book where I thought Leah/Layla was hallucinating. It was when she was by the river with Michael, after she had run away from her husband. I am pretty sure, almost 100% sure, that she was. But some scenes made me wonder (like when her parents came).
The ending was very surreal too. Again, I couldn’t make out if she was dreaming or if she was with her husband and Michael.
I will reccomend this book to be read but with the high sexual content in it, I would reccomend it be for anyone 18 and over.
Would I read it again: Probably not.
Here are the links I promised:
Amazon links (remember, prices can and will change):