rating: 4 of 5 stars
Though the narrative glides along like a novel, I soon found myself in unfamiliar territory. Essentially, I had very little prior knowledge to provide context to my reading. After a while, I realized that I had shifted to textbook reading because this biography of an enormous family in an exotic land was loaded with learning for this reader.
I searched for and printed two maps of the Middle East to help me coordinate to the settings in the book. In fact, that is a suggestion I would make to the author. Including maps might be very helpful to readers who are not knowledgeable about that part of the world. I know that maps helped me very much!
This story is absolutely fantastic in its international scope, wealth beyond imagination, political and religious intrigue, and cast of characters. The only factor that tops all of that is that it is all chillingly true. Read an excerpt here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89271287
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