It is nearly impossible to describe some experiences through words alone. The intensity of the first moment you lay eyes on your own child, the strength you feel when standing up for something you believe in, and the depth of fear that comes from situations so completely outside of your control you can only survive by putting one foot in front of the other. But in the hands of talented writers, these moments can come to life through words on a page.
Yara’s Spring is a deeply stirring, fictionalized story about the real war happening in Syria. Yara begins her narrative at ten and eleven years old, a girl who loves her parents, her Nana, and her new baby brother more than she can describe. As unrest continues to grow in her city of Aleppo, she begins to see the world in a different way. When a bomb tears her life apart, she embarks on an impossible journey to find a way across the border to freedom. Please see my full review here.
Every moment of this story is rich with emotion. As you might imagine, many of these feelings revolve around fear and uncertainty. However, found within the anguish and terror, other sensations find their way to the light, like a flower growing through a crack in the pavement. Love, ubiquitous in its spread, appears in the darkest moments and reminds both the characters and the readers what is worth fighting for.
It is not easy to read this book. Bombs, snipers, injury, injustice, and corruption litter the pages of this tale, and as is mentioned several times within the narrative, war often leaves the most prominent mark on children. Yara’s brother Saad is only a toddler when he witnesses atrocities that bring grown people to their knees. Yet somehow, he protects himself and survives despite the mounting challenges he faces. Readers feel deeply for every character throughout the course of this story and the many unthinkable events they have experienced.
Elegantly written, this story captures both the darkness of war and the beauty of the Middle East. Though it may be easy for some to dismiss refugees or horrors that happen an ocean away, books like this bring the realities of war to readers everywhere. It is true that there are difficult situations in this book, but the kindness shown toward Yara and her family by complete strangers is commendable, and readers of all backgrounds can gain a stronger understanding of modern war and what the survivors have experienced through this book. I highly recommend this profound and critical story to mature readers of all ages.
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