2013 . Biography & Autobiography, Personal Memoirs, Family & Relationships, Abuse . Brian Arthur Levene
The following is a true story. It's narrated by "Arthur" as he is disclosing the mental anguish he experienced through the course of his relationship with his wife, "Laila." Laila, a Pakistani Muslim immigrant, is young, beautiful, and so emotionally disturbed due to the abuse she suffered at the hands of family members as a child. Arthur falls in love with Laila and is determined to prove the world wrong: that their love can transcend two opposing backgrounds coming together. It is more than a religious difference, but also a cultural divide that these two are fighting along with the demons of Laila's past that affect her everyday life, the way she approaches her marriage, and sexuality causes her to act out in destructive, and self-destructive, manners. If you've ever kept a journal or a diary, I'm sure your entries are much like this narration—totally based on emotion and tending to jump from one horror to the next to the elated times, etc. The narration jumps in time from recollection to recollection and, at first, it may be a bit difficult for you as the reader to keep up with tumultuous emotions and memory jumps. As you read, you will be able to tell that the narrator is expecting complete and full sympathy for what he experienced. In the first part of the book, if you are anything like me, I think you will question whether he deserves that sympathy greatly as his reactions are not exemplary of the hero; you know, the guy who suffers and doesn't say a thing. I really expected to be fully sympathetic based on the blurb, forgetting that the narrator is also a human and would not react perfectly to the situations he finds himself in. As the relationship continues, the highs, lows, deteriorating, rebuilding, and disintegrating again, you the reader will travel the gamut of emotions that I did when reading: from sympathy for Arthur to cold distance to holding my head and thinking that this could not possibly be real. Laila not only destroys the love and hope Arthur holds for her and their future, but she also manages to manipulate, corrupt, and damage his college-aged daughter. Author Brian Levene does a marvelous job at capturing the raw emotions, disjointed thoughts and memory-jumping we do when we're distraught and when trying to figure out what happened, where we went wrong, etc. Our memories are never linear—we tend to jump from strong memory to strong memory and that is exactly what he wrote. The arguments between Laila and Arthur sometimes didn't make sense, but as you read on, you might find yourself turning back the page to that argument with an "ah now I see" moment. While I realize this is a memoir, I found myself hoping for a "nah this is just fiction" at the end. Sadly, not so. I cannot imagine living through such a gut-wrenching scenario and applaud the author's bravery in sharing his story. I think men, are frequently conditioned to keep such emotions private and wouldn't be able to share their stories like this author has.
Gully Gods Publishing
0983333025 (ISBN13: 9780983333029)
No reviews for this book yet