Syrian Brides: A Great Collection of the Shared Realities of being Woman
HOOKED FROM THE VERY FIRST STORY!!!
With each story read, the ingenuity, strength, beauty, struggles, and mistreatment that women endure is revealed and highlighted. These stories run the gamut when it comes to representing the personalities of Syrian women; and even with the cultural and religious differences, it is clear that wherever women are in the world, more is shared than not.
Individually, the stories takes the reader into the lives of women who are alike, yet not; who exhibit wit, character and doubt, as they go about their day to day lives. Halabi has of course turned up the humour and certain 'female characteristics', but the situations that these women find themselves in, whether it be domestic violence, being lied to, being pinched and prodded to be found wanting as a potential bride, seeking escape from a 'too boring' marriage, using slight of hand and impersonation to secure a future, being constantly reminded of the idealized wife that came before, or just using clever cosmetic effects to land a husband; each story resonates with truth.
Every story was an experience, culturally rich (eliciting laughs, commiserating sighs, understanding nods) even as they dealt with darker aspects of what women face in society, their place as daughter, bride, wife, niece, sister, and how each role plays into the space they occupy in society and community, and even though these stories are only a snapshot, Halabi uses them to explore and highlight women's unique existence and their deeper meaning will not be lost on readers.
A well-worth-the-read short story collection, that I will definitely be revisiting and re-reading. The Syrian and Arabian proverbs that end each story were not only appropriate but spoke to the topics covered throughout the collection.