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Loved it! 😍

A juggernaut of intensity that hits you hard and doesn't let go. From betrayal to freedom, peeling back the layers of life in Afghanistan.

From the cover art chosen to its final words this book's writing style earns every one of its 4 stars from me.

The width and breadth of what's shared here is hard to take in. Not emotionally but information wise. I knew next to nothing about life in Afghanistan, nor its language or culture, outside of the various war coverage seen via network television throughout the course of my life lived in the USA. Although I'm an avid reader, who lives to learn new things, I found the depth of history, and integral names, to be a bit overwhelming to keep track of.

The pictures included throughout this book added a welcomed dimension. Appreciated because they breathe life into the truth by allowing the faces of the people whose lives were depicted to speak.

Unfortunately, the depth of emotion the author wished to share within this English re-telling fell a bit flat. You're able to feel the deep love but the tears aren't present. Grief felt by the family doesn't translate to the reader. I wasn't able to see, taste, touch, hear, and smell everything they did. That's where this became a 4 star read instead of a 5.

What was present was the triumphs and victories of this author's ancestral line. Their prominence and importance. Their good intentions and promise of a brighter future for their land and its people. Past and present, this author and his family are of a noble blood and breed.

What was present was the horror, the unbelievable but very real betrayal that would leave anyone reeling. What was present was the amazing resilience of this families ability to pick-up the pieces, continuing to look ahead to the future; learning despite being held within captivity.

The ultimate tell of what an amazing family this is can be found within the author's, grandfather's words shared within a video online: "Don't think of revenge, excuse the people. It's better to bring them in the right direction as [than] revenge."

We will never know if we, ourselves, could ever be so magnanimous unless we too lived through such atrocities; but, based on this family's experiences we can hope to find a way outside of hate to optimism, outside of bitterness to forgiveness, outside of hanging our heads in misery to that of holding our heads high and living our lives out within an optimistic spirit and heart.

Reviewed by

Reading books and writing reviews brings with it every emotion under the sun; forever changing, forever changed, and I wouldn't have it any other way. May my words not only help fellow readers but also the authors of the books we read.

November 26, 1932

About the author

Adam Malik Siddiq is the grandson of Khaled Siddiq. Adam wrote SHACKLED alongside his grandfather, Khaled—a shared journey they hope will inspire others to become more involved in the sacred bond between the youth and their elders. He also wrote the bestselling poetry book, "The Lover's Rhapsody". view profile

Published on December 22, 2017


80000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

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