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Noora Fendil the favorite daughter of a very successful and influential Middle Eastern businessman has the perfect life Until one night in London Just two months before graduating from a posh London Ladies college and while planning her lavish wedding to her childhood sweetheart Noora is framed by her sister who masterminded a plot to destroy Noora's happiness Believing she has shamed him and in order to preserve his family name Noora's father attempts to drown her in an act of honor killing Unbeknownst to him she survives Barely clinging to life she flees from her father's mansion and is rescued by a tribe of Bedouins Still in danger Noora travels nearly half way around the world in search of sanctuary All along her path she must hide her true identity while hoping to return one day and prove her innocence However she is relentlessly stalked by her fundamentalist former bodyguard who discovered she is still alive and vows to bring her back to justice Follow Noora on this remarkable journey of courage and survival against all obstacles Light of the Desert shares the moving tale of a Middle Eastern woman's remarkable journey of survival courage and the ultimate act of humanity A truly inspiring and engrossing novel Connie Harris MyShelfcom


10 thoughts on “Light of the Desert

  1. says:

    ‘Honor killing’ and other cultural secretsCalifornia authorscreenwriter Lucette Walters was born in Alexandria Egypt grew up in Paris relocated with her family to Chicago and eventually moved to Los Angeles where she pursued a career in film Now she makes a stunning debut as an author of substance with LIGHT OF THE DESERTPertinent to her unique style of concept and exposition Lucette cleverly opens with a significant incident in 1993 that takes place in Al Balladi Jordan – a scenario that introduces the 21 year old Noora her younger sister Zaffeera her father and a strange man from London – all the ingredients of an overture to the novel that then unfolds in 1972 as we witness the birth of Noora by her mother Yasmina and an early indication of the relationship between Noora and her brother Nageeb Two years later there is equal attention to the birth of Noora’s sister Zaffeera The reason for concentrating on this aspect of Lucette’s novel is to alert the reader to one of the very important aspects of this story – family filial relationships and an aspect of life in the Middle East that includes a tradition called ‘honor killing’ – an ancient secret practice that exists among conservatives in Middle Eastern culture allowing men the right to kill their daughters or other female relatives without impunity if it is believed the woman has dishonored the familyLucette wisely condenses this sweeping story in her synopsis – ‘It is 1972 when Noora Fendil is born into a wealthy Middle Eastern family As she grows up blessed with beautiful eyes and a lean body Noora’s intelligent yet plain younger sister Zaffeera becomes increasingly jealous But now that Noora is engaged to the only man she has ever wanted Zaffeera’s envy is about to spiral out of control Just before her wedding Noora is framed by Zaffeera who has developed a diabolical plan to destroy her sister’s happiness Believing she has shamed him and dishonored the family name Noora’s father follows a secret ancient practice and attempts to drown her As her lifeless body floats away from him Noora’s father has no idea she has survived Now on a journey to escape her nightmare Noora’s dangerous path takes her from Jordan to Egypt and France and eventually California Along the way she hides her true identity in the hope that one day she can return to prove her innocence even as a fundamentalist determined to seek justice stalks her Light of the Desert shares the moving tale of a Middle Eastern woman’s remarkable journey of survival courage and the ultimate act of humanity’A great story beautifully sculpted by an artist who innately understands the rich culture of the Middle East and is able to unfold that sensitively for the reader It also relates an intense survey of the differences between the cultures of the various locations in which she places her lead character Somehow Lucette has managed to create a suspense filled story that embraces passionate love loss murder sex and violence with both Middle Eastern family traditions contrasts with Western ways and very contemporary lines of betrayal revenge escapes manhunts and tragedies beyond description and still allow her main character those attributes of spiritualism faith and forgiveness It would make a very fine film but sociologically it opens windows onto the views of the Middle Eastern life so that the reader in the West can better understand and appreciate the importance of universals and similarities – instead of differences and misunderstandings Highly recommended on all levels