The novel is a rendition of the Job and his biblical trials as told from Dara’s (Mrs. Job’s) viewpoint, namely, that of a woman living in a patriarchal world. Story embarks when Dara goes down the memory lane, enriched with the hues of love, friendship and faith.
The mystic and extramundane world of nomads created by the author is an interesting backdrop.
Dara grows up with her childhood friend Adah, living like nomads, going through all feelings different and new. Adah is constant in her life.
While Dara’s betrothal and marriage evokes plethora of emotions like, sadness, trust, joy, eagerness and pain, all developing into her love for Job; Dara’s faith for goddess Astarte becomes her Ariadne’s string. She finds her solace in hugging the firm body of Astarte.
The third-fourth of the book focuses on the Dara’s growth into a woman who confesses fully to her personality and owns it all with the faults and strengths; it’s later that it transposes to the terror of trials, anxiety of choices and consequences of decisions.
The author Mona G Affinito writes the story in a unique first person narrative, which binds you from the get go. The writing style is simple, idiomatic yet calls on something deep. Detailed, descriptive yet never monotonous monologue and immortalised biblical characters set in a olde worlde are the tools which have spun this beautiful tapestry.
Reader connects with Dara as she strives for happiness through all her travails and blights. The protagonist is raised with values and some she assimilates from her experience of being a daughter, a wife, a best friend and a mother.
The friendship and faith are her beacon and they lead her back to the light of clarity whenever she finds herself in the darkness of incertitude.
A working principle of a machine makes it easy for us to understand and marvel at it more, this is how the Addendum section at the end of the book felt. It’s just like behind the scenes of a great play, and instead of actors’ work you get a kick at the can to understand the working of Mona’s mind and the extensive research done during the writing of this book.
The first read would feel like the figs & pomegranates & special cheeses love and you would keep coming back for its potage love.
This bracing read is largely recommended to one but all.
“Nothing looked or felt quite the same. No one seemed to notice that I was no longer Dara. I was someone else. Yes, I knew this would happen, but now it was real, making me feel like a stranger.”
**I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair review.
— on July 18, 2017