Verdict: JADWA’S STORY is a tragic journey that effectively depicts terrorists as misguided hu-mans who have been brainwashed, rather than stereotypical cartoon villains.
A young girl struggles against the oppression leading her towards religious extremists and terrorism in this thought provoking story.
Jadwa is a young girl living in the Middle East with her extremist father Haamid who ignores her most of the time and her rebellious brother Jameel, who is determined to move to America and be free of his abusive father. She befriends a young woman named Najya Majeed and is forced to decide whether she wants to follow in her brother’s footsteps or escape her oppressive home.
JADWA’S STORY is a heartbreaking tale that explores what drives young men and women to turn to extremist forms of religion. Author Aabra expertly captured the turbulent teenaged years and what it is like to grow up with an abusive parent or guardians. Jadwa is a flawed character whom readers will instantly connect with, as she struggles with universal problems such as desperately trying to earn her father’s approval and what it means to be a woman.
However, other characters such as Jadwa’s best friend Najya and even her father could have been fleshed out more. There are glimmers of what motivates the minor characters and their backstories, but nothing more than that.
JADWA’S STORY does not shy away from discussing heavy topics such as abusive parents, extremist religion and terrorism. The novel points out in painstaking detail all of the elements that leads to modern youth becoming religious fanatics and making the decision to kill others for their god. The author also has a keen eye for detail and expertly brings Jadwa’s world to life so that the reader feels as if they are walking beside the young girl.
JADWA’S STORY is a tragic journey that effectively depicts terrorists as misguided humans who have been brainwashed, rather than stereotypical cartoon villains.