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Offspring of Paradise

Safi Abdi

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : AuthorHouse

Published : 2003

Copyright : Safi Abdi 2002

ISBN-10 : PB 1-4107-9409-1
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-4107-9409-3

Publisher's Write-Up

The military junta that has ruled the land of Somalia with an iron fist since October 21, 1969, has at last succumbed to the evils of its own making. Its policy of divide and rule has eroded the very fabric of society, and pit brother against brother. It is 1991 and the regime’s last stronghold in the south is for the first time feeling what its sister cities in the north had suffered earlier... death and destruction.

The city of Hamar is bleeding to its very last human drop. On foot, on donkey carts, and by every conceivable means, those who could move are on the move. Some fly from the rooftops like birds; some plunge into the furious waves, only to swim in the belly of the sharks; others dig into the shelter of the underworld. Premature demise and epidemic vandalism becomes the order of the day. This demise is, however, like no other, for it’s the last nail in the coffin... the coffin that was Somalia Democratic Republic.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Molly Martin (301205) Rating (8/10)

Review by Molly Martin
Rating 8/10
Hana is only six when her world is turned upside down. Clan wars have begun in Somalia. Her father is dead by only hours, her brothers are taking part in the rampaging, her uncle is trying to spirit his mother and his brother’s pregnant wife and young child away from danger when they are ambushed. Hana and her grandmother spend two years on the run before finally reaching the faint sanctuary of ‘the wall’ where they will live for a time. Hana becomes a school girl, the pair meet Mulki and Rune who offer hope, her grandmother dies, life goes on. First one then another apparent friend surface, prove themselves true or false and perhaps disappear again. At last Hana is on her way home to meet the mother lost to her when her sad journey began.

Writer Abdi states that the characters and specific narrative in her work are fictional as she details with clarity of one who has seen much of the horror of war and desperation of the refugees living in Somalia during the ethnic cleansing that took place during the last century. The Somalian Civil war lasted for over a decade, Abdi brings to life some of the thousands who were killed, raped and maimed in the process and the thousands more were uprooted and left to try to make some type of life for themselves.

From the opening lines found in the pages of Offspring of Paradise Writer Abdi has created a gripping if chilling work. As we follow Little Hana and her family making their desperate try for escape right on to the last paragraph when we find a more grown up Hana hopeful that she will have a better future Abdi outlines the desperation of a whole body of people. Those who were facing discrimination were willing to use any means available for escape from the destruction and spoliation that becomes a reality in the country that was once the Somalia Democratic Republic. Reading Offspring of Paradise brings the reader right into the plight of the downtrodden; writer Abdi skillfully presents the notion that you are in the thick of what may well have taken place during that troublesome time.

On the pages of Offspring of Paradise Writer Abdi has crafted a startling, potent work filled with generously drawn characters, perilous story line, near to overwhelming state of affairs, prejudice and at times pleasantly puzzling discord in this powerful read. Offspring of Paradise is the second book from this talented writer who is already hard at work on her next offering. Abdi also writes poetry and short stories which she posts on various writing sites on the internet.

Some minor language issues for the American reader are easily resolved. Offspring of Paradise includes a glossary of terms to aid those who might not be conversant with some of the terms. Offspring of Paradise is a good book for a quiet, thoughtful afternoon, happy to recommend.
Molly Martin (30th December 2005)

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