Daughters of Iraq [NOOK Book]

Overview

Daughters of Iraq is the compelling story of three women from the same family. It is the story of emigration from Iraq to Israel as experienced by two sisters: Violet, whom we learn about through a diary she kept after being diagnosed with a critical illness, and Farida, whose personality unfolds through her relationship with her surroundings, and with herself. The third character is Noa, Violet’s daughter and a student, a young woman in her twenties who is searching for meaning. Noa embarks on a spiritual quest ...

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Daughters of Iraq

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Overview

Daughters of Iraq is the compelling story of three women from the same family. It is the story of emigration from Iraq to Israel as experienced by two sisters: Violet, whom we learn about through a diary she kept after being diagnosed with a critical illness, and Farida, whose personality unfolds through her relationship with her surroundings, and with herself. The third character is Noa, Violet’s daughter and a student, a young woman in her twenties who is searching for meaning. Noa embarks on a spiritual quest to the past, so that she can learn how to build her life in the present and the future.

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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940011266409
  • Publisher: Revital Shiri-Horowitz
  • Publication date: 4/3/2011
  • Sold by: Smashwords
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 733,170
  • File size: 268 KB

Meet the Author

•Born in Israel to Jewish Iraqi immigrants. •Lived with a large extended Iraqi family, upon whom much of this book is based. •Lived most of her life in Israel. •Served in the Israeli Army. •Earned BA’s in Hebrew Literature and Geography from Tel Aviv University. •Earned her MA in Geography from Haifa University. •Earned her MA in Hebrew Literature from Tel Aviv University. •Was an assistant professor of Geography in Haifa and Tel Aviv Universities. •Taught Hebrew to foreign exchange students at Haifa University. •Taught Hebrew in London, England to elementary school students. •Has written diaries, poems and short stories throughout her life. •Has edited a poetry book and children book in Hebrew. •Has been married to Amnon for 20 years, and is the proud mother of four boys between the ages of 18 and 7. She loves to write and connect with people, she loves to travel and explore new places, and she loves her dog Sheleg (snow in Hebrew).

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 20 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2012

    This is a story spun across several generations, weaving the voi

    This is a story spun across several generations, weaving the voices of three woman of the same family, entwining memories and reality between two different locations: Iraq and Israel.

    As you read the chapters--each one a short burst of one of the three voices--you begin to compose them, to fit the threads into a complete design. Violet's voice is the first one you hear, and it comes from the time of her childhood in Iraq. Told in first-person narrative, it resonates with humor and with the spirit of a rebel. Then you meet Farida: hair imbued with kitchen smells, body stout, breasts sagging over a gargantuan belly. She is Violet's sister, who gives generous maternal love to Noa, Violet's daughter. Farida and Noa's voices, while authentic and strong, are told in the third-person narrative; which sets them apart from Violet's voice. The author designed this by intention, as you discover once Violet's diary comes to light.

    It is through reading this diary that Noa comes to realize her bond to her mother, whose life was cut short, and whose absence is sorely felt. The diary helps Noa get in touch with her heritage: the history of the women in her family. In the end, it is not only Violet and Farida who are daughters of Iraq (by birth), but by virtue of the memory, so is Noa.

    The cover shows a layers of sand in the background, which brings to mind violet's words: "You see this sand? it's the gold that covers our floors like a carpet." So are her memories of home in Iraq, of palm trees, of aromas... In the foreground of the cover are translucent bottles, holding the figures of the woman of this family, and the aroma of words, of sensual reminiscences.

    5 Stars.

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  • Posted May 31, 2012

    A heartwarming family tale of love and loss I feel the need to

    A heartwarming family tale of love and loss

    I feel the need to start this review out by stating that DAUGHTERS OF IRAQ by REVITAL SHIRI-HOROWITZ is more than just another novel. This is family storytelling at its best. Every once in a while, you come across a book that the author has put her whole heart and soul into and is able to convey every emotion flawlessly to the reader. This is one of those very special books. I was completely absorbed by the stories of Violet, Farida and Noa and I felt the love in the words as I read them. I took my time with this book. I savored every word and emotion and didn't want it to end. Through Ms. Shiri-Horowitz's words, I felt the joy and the pain of these women. I was very touched by this book.

    We learn of Violet as a vibrant child and then woman through the family stories that her sister, Farida, shares with Violet's daughter, Noa. We learn of Violet as a mother through Noa's recollections and through Noa's pain and guilt of losing her. Then we are treated to something so special by the author. She introduces Violet to us and her family as a woman through her diary that she writes to her loved ones as she lay dying from cancer.

    This book is full of hardship, joy, pain and through the amazing storytelling ability of RIVITAL SHIRI-HOROWITZ, we as the reader feel it all. I laughed. I cried. This is an amazing book and I will most definitely be reading it again.

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  • Posted September 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Lovely Book About Love

    "Daugh­ters of Iraq" by Revi­tal Shiri-Horowitz is a fic­tional story of three women from the same fam­ily. It is a story of emi­gra­tion seen through the eyes of two of the women and one who is first gen­er­a­tion Israeli.

    Sis­ters Farida and Violet's fam­ily was being forced to move from Iraq due to their reli­gion. This event, which occurred in the 1950s, shaped their lives and changed them for­ever. Noa, Violet's daugh­ter also feels the effects of this event and the sto­ries of her mother and aunt shape the way she makes deci­sions in mod­ern day Israel.

    "Daugh­ters of Iraq" by Revi­tal Shiri-Horowitz is a well writ­ten account of Jew­ish Iraqi fam­ily who is forced to immi­grate to Israel from Iraq in the 1950s. While the book was a bit dif­fi­cult to start, but once I got the rhythm, pac­ing and jumps in time I started to truly enjoy the story. While the book is billed as fiction/historical fic­tion it almost reads like a memoir.

    The story is pre­sented in sev­eral for­mats. One of the two sis­ters, Vio­let, who has passed away after being sick is being remem­bered through her jour­nal entries. We get to know Violet's sis­ter, Farida, through her own words and her sur­round­ings. Violet's daugh­ter, Noa, a uni­ver­sity stu­dent, goes through a spir­i­tual jour­ney through­out the book deal­ing with love, loss and look­ing for some sort of mean­ing in life.

    The book's theme is love in var­i­ous ways. Love between par­ents, sib­lings, cou­ples, aunts, daugh­ters, sons and even ex-lovers.

    I also found it very inter­est­ing to read about the extreme change of going from a life of lux­ury in an upscale neigh­bor­hood in Bagh­dad to a tent in Israel. While the option of liv­ing in an Israeli tent is much bet­ter than a Bagh­dadi grave it is still a cul­ture shock, espe­cially for your teenage girls.

    I thought the sec­tions which tell the immi­gra­tion story were fas­ci­nat­ing and the sec­tions about Noa, the Israeli born daugh­ter of the immi­grants inter­est­ing and unique. I don't think sons and daugh­ters of immi­grants real­ize how much their par­ents have sac­ri­ficed. Giv­ing up every­thing just to give their chil­dren a chance at a bet­ter life, leav­ing every­thing famil­iar and going to a for­eign place know­ing full well you'll never belong.

    Dis­claimer: I got this book for free.

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  • Posted September 14, 2011

    Beautiful and Moving

    Daughters of Iraq tells the story of Iraqi Jews from the points of view of three women. Sisters Violet and Farida grew up in Iraq. They lived a fairly good life until the politics of the region drove them to Israel. They had to make new lives for themselves. The third woman is Violet's daughter Noa. Born in Israel, Noa is discovering about her past through a diary written by Violet. These three stories are woven together with past and present combining to tell a marvelous tale of love, family, and endurance.


    This book is a translation from the original Hebrew, so I feel there are times that it doesn't read as smooth as you would expect. However, this did not bother me. I had a bit of a hard time getting into it in the beginning as each chapter seems to change narrators and time periods. Once you get adjusted to this, you really get drawn in. I found there to be a quiet sureness to the plot. There are no twists and turns or startling revelations. Instead you get an amazing story of three women who are living remarkable lives, even if they may not appear so to the rest of the world. I especially felt for Noa, who is really embarking on a journey of self-discovery through school work and life. When her Aunt Farida gives her Violet's diary, Noa is able to learn even more about mother and her past.


    One common theme for all three women was discovering their true home. Violet and Farida were torn from their home country and the life they knew so well. In Israel, things were much harder. They even lived in a tent for a while. Meanwhile, Noa has in some sense been running away from her home. When her mother was ill, she couldn't seem to face the reality of it. Noa never really understood herself or what it really meant to be "home." Her mother and aunt help her to discover this through their words. I found this book to be so interesting. I am not that familiar with the time periods covered in these countries. I really can't imagine being forced to leave your home because of your religion, and yet this family and many others were. I think this book will be of great interest to people who enjoy reading about history and/or strong women making their way in the world. It was a great book.

    Book provided for review.

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  • Posted August 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good historical aspect

    The jumps in the story's year timeline was confusing initially. Readers are brought to Violet's childhood world, Farida and Noa's present world, the time the family migrated to Israel, and Violet's illness period. After the first few chapters, I got used to the jumps and reading the book became easier. Although this book is a fictional novel, the telling of the story made it sound hauntingly real. As I read, I had to remind myself that I was reading a historical novel, and not a nonfiction biography. The accentuation of the unnatural way English was spoken in certain conversations made the story all the more realistic. Readers are acquainted with the story and its characters through various ways: family conversations, Violet's diary, phone conversations, and letters. While I got to know quite a bit of Farida and her character personalities, I wished a more in-depth glimpse of Violet was given. One part in the book particularly stood out for me. The death of Violet and Farida's nephew, Eddie. The very random way he died tells us that heroes don't always die heroic and/or dramatic deaths. Overall, I thought that the length of Daughters of Iraq was too short for its type of story. I wanted to get to know each of the characters more before the book ended and wasn't entirely satisfied with the happily-ever-after hints at the ending. But nevertheless, the historical aspect of the plot kept me enthralled with the story. It was interesting reading about the lives of Iraqi Jews and their migration to the new state of Israel.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    A window into a lost world

    Daughters of Iraq is a lovingly written story of a Jewish world that no longer exists. The window into the life of Jews living in Iraq in the first half of the 20th century presented in this personal novel was fascinating. Sharing their experiences of being uprooted from their ancient homeland and moved to their modern and ancestral homeland of Israel provides one with a sense of what life was like for Mizrahi Jews in Israel's early days. Life was not easy and assimilating into an Israel run by European Jews and Sabras was difficult. The multigenerational telling of the story of Violet, Farida and Noa is compelling and engaging. I recommend this novel to anyone who wants to learn more about the Iraqi Jewish community, life in Israel or just wants to enjoy a lovingly written story of family and change.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    A window into a lost world

    Daughters of Iraq is a lovingly written story of a Jewish world that no longer exists. The window into the life of Jews living in Iraq in the first half of the 20th century presented in this personal novel was fascinating. Sharing their experiences of being uprooted from their ancient homeland and moved to their modern and ancestral homeland of Israel provides one with a sense of what life was like for Mizrahi Jews in Israel's early days. Life was not easy and assimilating into an Israel run by European Jews and Sabras was difficult. The multigenerational telling of the story of Violet, Farida and Noa is compelling and engaging. I recommend this novel to anyone who wants to learn more about the Iraqi Jewish community, life in Israel or just wants to enjoy a lovingly written story of family and change.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 15, 2011

    I Was Transported-You Have to Read

    Daughters of Iraq introduced me into the world and traditions of a culture I had never thought to enter into. What a shame it took me so long. I used to think of Iraq, Israel as just words, a place, you know what I mean? I now see the people and some of their history. I was drawn into the story by characters who shared their lives as if they were never a part of a fiction. The use of their native language really cinched it for me. I liked the way Revital Shiri-Horowitz flicked the story from past to present and back again, while smoothly sharing bits of history. I could just picture it as a movie. I recommend this book to everyone.

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  • Posted June 14, 2011

    Couldn't put it down!

    Revital Shiri-Horowitz's "Daughter of Iraq" is the beautifully written story of three generations of Jewish women in Baghdad and Israel. The author draws such rich portraits of the characters that I had to keep reminding myself that they were fictional! Horowitz does a magnificent job weaving the individual stories into the broader historical background. "Daughter of Iraq" is an emotionally satisfying, informative, and extremely readable book. I highly recommend it.

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  • Posted June 7, 2011

    A story of a new beginning in an ancient land

    As an American Jew I always believed that Israel was a country populated by European refugees from the Holocaust. But after a trip to Israel I learned that the majority of Israelis are actually from the Middle East. Unfortunately they are refugees kicked out of their homelands when the state of Israel declared independence. My niece married an Israeli and many members of his large extended families were those refugees. When a friend recommended Daughters of Iraq to me well I wanted to learn more about those gracious people that entertained us in their home with feasts like the ones described in this wonderful novel. The story is told from the perspective of Noa, Farida and Violet and we see how the two generations of women and their offspring adapted to a new and sometimes hard life in a foreign land. The stories are told with an honesty that sometimes makes your heart hurt. I highly recommend this novel, there is even a glossary of foreign words which adds so much to the flavor of the novel. I love to read a novel that is informative and entertaining.

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  • Posted June 7, 2011

    A Story of a new beginning in an ancient land

    As an American Jew I always believed that Israel was a country populated by European refugees from the Holocaust. But after a trip to Israel I learned that the majority of Israelis are actually from the Middle East. Unfortunately they are refugees kicked out of their homelands when the state of Israel declared independence. My niece married an Israeli and many members of his large extended families were those refugees. When a friend recommended Daughters of Iraq to me well I wanted to learn more about those gracious people that entertained us in their home with feasts like the ones described in this wonderful novel. The story is told from the perspective of Noa, Farida and Violet and we see how the two generations of women and their offspring adapted to a new and sometimes hard life in a foreign land. The stories are told with an honesty that sometimes makes your heart hurt. I highly recommend this novel, there is even a glossary of foreign words which adds so much to the flavor of the novel. I love to read a novel that is informative and entertaining.

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  • Posted May 24, 2011

    Beautifully Written

    Daughters of Iraq captivated me; led me into a way of life and a history I was, until now, completely unaware of.

    The author has written this book with an elegance that you don't often see these days. I felt that I was actually living within this inspiring story, and with each turn of the page, I became more and more a part of this sad, happy, and historical story.

    It doesn't matter what race, colour, or creed that any of us are . . . love will always prevail.

    I highly recomend this book to a broader readership as possible.

    10 out of 10

    5 stars!

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  • Posted May 24, 2011

    Highly recomended: An inspiring Read

    Daughters of Iraq captivated me; led me into a way of life and a history I was, until now, completely unaware of.

    The author has written this book with an elegance that you don't often see these days. I felt that I was actually living within this inspiring story, and with each turn of the page, I became more and more a part of this sad, happy, and historical story.

    It doesn't matter what race, colour, or creed that any of us are . . . love will always prevail.

    I highly recomend this book to a broader readership as possible.

    10 out of 10

    5 stars!

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  • Posted May 23, 2011

    heart warming novel about family, tradition, love, and relationship

    I loved "Daughters of Iraq" and read it in one breath. This book teaches reader how to appreciate precious life we have, family, children, happyness and health. Main characters of the book teach us how to love despite the bitterness of life and how to stay kind despite of great loss or terrible illness. It is book full of optimism, kindness, and love.

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  • Posted May 23, 2011

    heart touching novel about family, tradition, love, and relationship

    Daughters of Iraq is a wonderful novel that opens forgotten page in history of immigration of Iraqi Jews to Israel after World WarII. Reader witnesses incredible life stories of 3 generations of Jewish woman, who share their strength with their kids, family, friends, country. Book will teach you how to remain in love in most difficult times of your life and how to translate kindness to your lovedones.

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  • Posted May 12, 2011

    beautiful and moving

    Daughters of Iraq swept me up into the lives of the three Jewish women from whose point of view I came to understand the struggles of life as transplanted refugees from Iraq to Israel. I was fascinated with every aspect of the story. As an American with little understanding of the culture, or the struggle Iraqi Jews went through, I could not get enough. This book opened my eyes and brought me into a world completely different from my own by means of the flawless narrative and wonderfully drawn characters, whom I came to know and love. Daughters of Iraq will move you and enchant you. I can't recommend it highly enough.

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  • Posted April 28, 2011

    Loved the book

    I enjoyed reading the book very much, and could not put it down until i was done reading it. I recommend it!

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  • Posted April 21, 2011

    highly recommended, i was swept away.this book is a must have!!

    A very worm ,inviting book, a grate story that takes you to the far premetive history of a woman and her tales, to a very moderen present life. i reed it in lass then a day, just couldn't stop, the writing attracts the reader, and make him feel his living the story. you will enjoy it!!!! the author did a grate job.

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  • Posted April 19, 2011

    Highly recommended

    I read the book and was fascinated by the story,and by the History I learned. I had no idea there was a Jewish underground in Bagdad. I loved how the Author had the story jump in time and place, I laughed and cried, such a human heart touching book. Go read it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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