About my Blog

Growing up in a home away from home, in a multicultural environment, you can't help but feel your thoughts and reflections wont speak for the majority. Somehow, this majority seems to share the same thoughts, especially in this place I call home, the United Arab Emirates. When this is all over, I ask "what's next?"

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Olives- A violent romance

Taking  a break from my usual passive-aggressive posts, and since amazon is being an ████I will take this opportunity to talk about a great gem I found by pure luck (maybe fate) in my living room two days ago! It was two thick piles of paper that dad brought home to work on despite being on leave, I noticed the writer name said Alexander McNabb, a great blogger I've been stalking* for quite a while, I quickly grabbed it like a fan-girl and flipped through it. I had the Abu Dhabi Art fair opening ceremony invitation in my bag, but nooo! my evening has been planned by fate!

To be honest, I thought it was going to be another biased story about a very touchy subject for me, naturally a part of my identity crisis, the mother land... and all the fancy emotional words I could come up with... in short, "Palestine".

The book Olives is a about a "brit" who's life is turned upside down when he's off to a wrong start upon moving to Jordan. He falls for a Palestinian-Jordanian beauty, Aisha, and becomes (or struggles to become) a part of her world trying to live with his doubts about her family's connections triggered by his own understanding of the middle east and other events he finds too close for comfort. We live the story through Paul Stoke's eyes, mind and heart as his belief and trust gets put to test.

What I expected was a typical taboo romance, riddled with misinformation, and prejudice towards Palestinians (knee-jerk reaction really, a common palestinian trait), a couple of self-righteous extremists and an "ajnabi" who saves the day.
One of the very few times I was glad to have been wrong. It provided a different experience for me as a reader, it's not the 5 minute euphoria of self-discovery, or 30 minutes of wall-of-reality-depression, for once it felt like I was reading a story like I was listening to a close friend's story with a good cup of coffee.  And I forgot by the end of the first chapter that I knew who the author was.

The plot is very clever and very intriguing, and I was reacting to every twist and fighting the urge to just jump to the final page, laughing and crying along with the every line, whenever someone interrupted me I felt like flailing my arms around in a teenage tantrum of LEAVE-ME-ALONE-ism.

It has the right mix of romance, intrigue, mystery, action, and information, and most importantly the humanity in every character.

The bad part? Finding that I have reached the last page.

In a Hyperbole or two? (and quote yours truly *adjusts monocle*):  "Wildest book-induced- emotional trip ever had!"

I'll give myself a medal for not posting any spoilers.

The book hopefully comes out on November 30th for us here in the middle east. BUT despair not! you can get it for kindle on Amazon (those jerkwads...) and smashwords.

* stalking: act of following online activity, it's completely okay when I do it, and I strongly advise you to not follow my steps.