The Lovers, Rod Nordland

The Lovers

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One Response to “The Lovers, Rod Nordland”

  1. Madeline E. Says:

    The Lovers by Rod Nordland follows the lives of two young people in Afghanistan. They live in farms next to each other for their entire lives, playing together as children, and only separated by a small fence, talking and interacting. When they realize they are in love however, the freedom they once had comes to a halt. When Ali returns from a brief stint in the military, they need to find a way to be together, not being able to stand being separated any longer. They try to go through the “proper” routes, the man’s family offering money, land, and goods to the bride’s family, for their daughters. Most times women don’t get any say about who they are married off to what so ever. Ali convinces his family to offer land so that he can marry the girl he loves, but because they are from two different groups Zakia’s father tells them they have no chance of being together. Both Zakia and Ali try to go outside of what their culture permits, and try anything they can to get their families to allow them to be together, but instead are severely punished for it. When they realize that there is no hope of changing their families backwards opinions, they decide to run away. They make it to a women’s shelter where Zakia is brought in, and Ali goes to work trying to get money to get them to safety. While in the women’s shelter Zakia’s family finds her and tries to use backwards laws to get her back. This book highlights how laws in Afghanistan create loopholes for families to control their daughters, and for any man to abuse women. But because of the shelter, Zakia manages to avoid her family and stay. Although she gets the attention of the author (who at the time was writing an article for the New York Times) and thus many Americans, she still doesn’t have her rights or Ali. Despite the help she has gotten the women’s shelter, she has no freedom and is very unhappy, so again they decide to run away together. They manage to escape the police and Zakia’s family (with help of Ali’s family). With help from many different people they manage to get away to get their own small house and have a daughter of their own and find some peace.
    This book shows the harsh truth of how few rights women have in Afghanistan. It causes the reader to feel incredibly angry about how laws that allow women to be treated like property exist in the world, and not enough has been done to change them. But above all this book is full of a sense of hope. It will leave the reader hopeful for the future of the people in the book and everyone in oppressed countries. The more people that read this book, the better in my opinion this story should be spread. This book reveals a lot about how people are living without fundamental rights, and how we should not take advantage of what we have. It also is refreshing when it comes to non-fiction, it reads more like a story then most nonfiction books and really grabs the reader’s attention.                

    Rating: 5 stars

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