A few days ago I featured this author and her guest post - Behind the Veil: My Experience with Hijab by Pavarti K Tyler, for The Book Club Bash hosted by Novel Publicity. Today I will review her book for you. Read on for my insights.
Shadow on the Wall
by Pavarti K Tyler
Book Club Bash presented by Novel Publicity
Recai Osman: Muslim, philosopher, billionaire and Superhero?
Controversial and daring, Shadow on the Wall details the transformation of Recai Osman from complicated man to Superhero. Forced to witness the cruelty of the Morality Police in his home city of Elih, Turkey, Recai is called upon by the power of the desert to be the vehicle of change. Does he have the strength to answer Allah’s call or will his dark past and self doubt stand in his way?
Pulling on his faith in Allah, the friendship of a Jewish father-figure and a deeply held belief that his people deserve better, Recai Osman must become The SandStorm.
In the tradition of books by Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie, Shadow on the Wall tackles issues of religion, gender, corruption and the basic human condition. Beautiful and challenging, this is not a book to miss.
Shadow on the Wall is a complex, intense story that might not be for everyone, but it’s an important story that promotes cultural awareness. If you like multi-cultural fiction, this would be a great book for you. […] I was surprised to learn after reading the book that the author is not from the Middle East, which is a testament to how thoughtfully and thoroughly she conducted her research. This is a well written and produced digital book. Tyler is doing everything right as an independent author. Shadow on the Wall is a fine first effort for what should be a successful book series. ~ This book was reviewed as part of the Wise Bear Digital Book Awards competition. Entry fees associated with the contest are administrative in nature and do not influence our honest, unbiased book reviews.
From the moment I read the first sentence, I could not stop until I finished reading. As an Arab Muslim, I found it refreshing, to finally have someone sharing my cultural background to not be a “terrorist”, but be an actual “hero”. The imperfections of his character are what made him believable to me. We are not perfect, no one is, but he took his imperfections & became a hero for the people, instead of a suicide bomber. If anything, I see him as a metaphor for redemption, I am extremely excited to follow these Chronicles. I have always used to say that Batman was my favorite superhero, I have no doubt from this point on, my #1 answer will be “The SandStorm”. ~ Mosno Al-Moseeki
The Book Reviews are in!
- Winner of the General Fiction/Novel Category of the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
- Winner in the Fiction: Multicultural category for The 2012 USA Best Book Awards!
- Honorable Mention in the Mainstream/Literary Fiction category of the 20th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards
Knock. Just one solid sound.
Recai sat up too quickly and fell back against his mattress gasping as Rebekah stuck her head into his small room, her face creased with worry and fear.
“Cover yourself and stay silent,” she whispered before closing the door and rushing back into the living room to retrieve her burqa and open the door. Recai heard the movement of the heavy fabric she wore on top of her house dress as she moved across the room to greet their visitor. He wondered if she had retrieved her father’s gun which he’d overheard Hasad say was under the couch in the living room.
Before hiding beneath the thin sheet that covered him, he reached down and pulled the rug from the floor and threw it across his legs. He covered his head and melted against the wall with the pillow on top of his upper body. Feeling foolish, Recai laid there, wishing he had his ID, his phone, anything to help bribe his way out of this situation if it was indeed the RTK at the door.
Perhaps it’s just a neighbor, he thought. A neighbor come to ask after Rebekah’s father’s health or to borrow some salt. His attempt at rationalizing the unexpected visit did not quell his fears. The RTK made a habit of performing home inspections, especially if they suspected a woman alone. It wasn’t a safe time for anyone under the jurisdiction of Mayor Yilmaz.
Rebekah’s voice from the front room was soft and gentle. Recai could not make out the words but he managed to hear the sound of another voice. Was it a man? What man would she let into her home, knowing he was back here and her father away? Only one she could not turn away. Recai squeezed his eyes shut and prayed to Allah that it was her Rabbi, come to check on her.
“ . . . Only a storeroom, my father sleeps back here with the supplies and sometimes the animals so I can have the proper privacy a woman should be afforded,” Recai heard her say.
Rebekah’s voice was right outside the door to his room. She remained calm, not a hint of fear betrayed her. Few were able to handle themselves as coolly as she sounded. Recai prayed her strength would be enough.
They were in trouble. The only men who would feel at liberty to explore a woman’s home when she was alone were the RTK and their morality police. No one else possessed the sheer hypocritical audacity. And to come all the way out here, to this nothing village without even a paved road or proper mosque. Recai had the fleeting thought that perhaps this was not about Rebekah but about him and however he had ended up in the desert on the brink of death.
The door swung open abruptly, startling Recai despite his knowing it would happen. He was as covered as was feasible. He willed himself to fade into the shadows of the small room and tried not to breathe. In’shallah this would all be over soon.
Readers and Bloggers are able to win any of The Amazing Prizes we’ve lined up including:
- A custom book club guide from Novel Publicity – $500 Value!
- Signed Paperbacks of of Scorpion Rising, X-It, KINGDOM, BLUFF or Shadow on the Wall
- Swag from Lenore Skomal’s novel BLUFF
- 2 $25 Amazon Gift Cards
- The chance to name a major character in Anderson O’Donnel’s next novel
- 1 Full Manuscript Feedback from Jane George
- 1 Skype Session with the author of your choice – Great for Book Clubs!
- 1 In dept critique of the first 1500 words of any work from Pavarti K Tyler
My Book Review
of Shadow on the Wall
Gripped from the first page, I will begin by saying how much I’m looking forward to the rest of the series. Although it is not an easy read, I enjoyed the challenge.
This is a brutal, harsh, yet honest look at the human condition and its entanglements with faith, and about how the two can so tragically conflict.
It is set in Turkey, in a place called Elih, which is governed by a corrupt authority called the RTK, who are an extreme Muslim group, come armed and dangerous – especially if you’re a woman. They enforce certain faith prescribed practices such as no alcohol, no pork, etc. But it is women especially who were severely restricted: having to wear traditional dress and be chaperoned by a man at all, and even what they read is restricted – no newspapers for women, and no education!
The author clearly knows her stuff, which was necessary, as one major focal point of this book is how varied the interpretations of religious texts, such as the Qur’an, actually are. As a result, I learned about the Islamic faith from Shadow on the Wall, which allowed insights into its rituals, greetings, prayers, even adding passages from the Qur’an. But the author doesn’t just show us the dark side of Islam, but shows us with quotes from the Bible, that any faith-based on ancient texts – can be and often are misinterpreted to tragic ends. I have always believed this anyway – our history books scream it, as do our news channels. Others of you may find not agree. I challenge those of you to read this book.
The villains are the RTK, and their villainy is illustrated in very brutal scenes. If you’re not keen on books featuring violence against women, especially when sexual in nature, then I’d say to avoid it. It is extreme, but unlike slasher violence, it isn’t gratuitous. It’s necessary for the character development and plot lines, and disturbs in it’s proximity to truth more than anything else.
The author drags you into this world via rounded characters, multiple dramatic plot lines and an environment that is all-consuming in it’s sandy, dry, drought. This perfectly reflected the lives of the women, who were oppressed, raped, used to punish their men-folk, cast out and looked down on, thought of as weak, used as pawns in men’s lives. Essentially, they’re commodities, whose value came in ownership and ended at freedom. There is value in the fiction of this book, in illustrating the plight of too many women, and as a cautionary tale regarding what we choose to believe.
Let our faith not be blind.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review from the author. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Pavarti K Tyler is an artist, wife, mother and number cruncher. She graduated Smith College in 1999 with a degree in Theatre. After graduation, she moved to New York, where she worked as a Dramaturge, Assistant Director and Production Manager on productions both on and off Broadway.
Later, Pavarti went to work in the finance industry several international law firms. She now operates her own accounting firm in the Washington DC area, where she lives with her husband, two daughters and two terrible dogs. When not preparing taxes, she is busy working as the Director of Marketing at Novel Publicity or penning her next novel. www.FightingMonkeyPress.com
Book Club Bash Schedule:
|Tuesday 12/11/2012||Crazy Lady with a Pen||Guest Post|
|Fiction Rulz||Guest Post and Interview|
|Jamie B Musings||Interview|
|Laxmi Hariharan||Guest Post|
|Shah Wharton’s WordsinSync (ME)||Guest Post|
|Wednesday 12/12/2012||AOBibliosphere||Guest Post w Excerpt|
|Donna Galanti||Review and Guest Post|
|My Life One Story at a Time||Guest Post|
|Tracy M. Riva||Interview Guest Post (set qs)|
|Thursday 12/13/2012||Kathleen Kelly||Guest Post|
|My Devotional Thoughts||Interview|
|Nicole Henke||Guest Post|
|Patty Mitchell||Review with excerpt|
|Friday 12/14/2012||Books Are Magic||Guest Post|
|Naimeless||Review with Interview|
|Shah Wharton’s WordsinSync (ME)||Review|
|Shelley’s Book Case||Review with Interview and Guest Post|
|Unscheduled||A Night’s Dream of Books||Interview|
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