Anissa is traumatized by the most brutal conflict of the 21st Century: the Syrian Civil War. In 2012, Islamists in Homs terrorize a Syrian-Christian community and destroy everything that a young woman holds dear. Narrowly escaping death, Anissa restarts her devastated life as a college student in NY. She is bewildered and lost — a virgin in every sense.
But despite her inexperience with men and life in the United States, Anissa is quickly drawn to two powerful individuals: Michael Kassab, the Syrian-American leader working to found the first Mideast Christian state, and Julien Morales, her Columbia University professor who runs a $20 billion hedge fund.
Complicating matters, Michael is still attached to his ex-girlfriend and Julien is the most sought after bachelor in Manhattan (and has hidden demons even his therapist can’t extract). Anissa’s heart and her communal ties pull her in different directions, as she seeks hope and renewal in a dark world.
My review :
I receive this book from N.M Silber and i want to say thank you very much!
This story is like no one else; through the dual POV’s from Anissa and Julien, we saw how tough, insane, the world became.
I coudn’t be in Anissa’s shoes because all she went through shouldn’t be ever experienced. All these traumatics events are still hauting her; even two years later, the memories are still there. Being the one from her family succeded to escape from this war make her feels not lucky at all but guilty for leaving them behind. The clash of culture is so obvious but she never fall for the siren’s call, even when temptation is everywhere. She’s focusing on her goal for her first priority : help her community.
How can i say, this young woman is a force of nature, so strong, fighting for her convictions. In her path for recovering; she found herself but especially love for two men: one closed to her aspirations and the other, her complete opposite at first sight.
She became a very active woman in her community and do her best to help them. That’s how she met Julien, one of her teachers. When i read their first interaction, i could feel how different, in their looks, behaviour, they were and how the two of them weren’t sharing the same interests.
But that why this story is well written, because through Julien’s POV, i could sense how fragile this man were, and this way of living his life hide this emptiness, loneliness. His scars, demons were so deeply buried. He’s acting like a confident bachelor, aware of his charm, having sex only with young women. He’s making money more than Anissa and her community could raise in one lifetime. The thrill of power and money attracted most women but not Anissa.
He was totally smitten to the beauty of her soul but afraid at the same time to broke her if things going more further.
His attraction, desire is forbidden at so many levels that he tried to stay away but the bound between them was so overwhelming that he couldn’t fight it.
Michael is the first one that Anissa was attracted to : beautiful, fighter, leader, charismatic man. She was idealizing him, putting him on a pedestal, like her white knight in armor. Some of his ideas make me cringed but Zack Love has well translated how his fight for a better word to his people was all that matters to him.
Michael is such a charismatic leader, joining Anissa for his cause. He’s almost ready for anything for his ideas, and kind of using Anissa because of Julien’s obvious attraction to her.
I really enjoyed this story about trying to recover from the atrocites of war and ending finding love in New York. Her fight for getting better, to find her place in this world was so well written. I love Zack Love’s writing, so poignant, sensitive, brilliant and making us thinking of the reality of the world.
It was such a magnificient love story!
I really encourage people to read this book because you would be drawn immediately to it and i couldn’t be this one down! I can’t wait to read the sequel because the end leave me frustrated, i want it like right now!!! I gave it 5 stars!
More about Zack Love : http://ZackLove.com