Alabaster by Chris Aslan
What is Most Precious is also Most Fragile
About the Book: “I still hear the voice of my mother telling me what all women in our village tell their daughters: ‘Mariam, a woman’s honour is as fragile and as beautiful as a butterfly’s wings. What is a butterfly without wings, except a worm?’ It’s probably a good thing that my mother didn’t live to see me now.” A beautifully crafted novel about two sisters who face the stigma of shame, the sorrow of loss, and the startling hope one can find when someone shows you a different way of seeing the world.
About the Author: Chris Aslan was born in Turkey and grew up in Beirut and wrote A Carpet Ride to Khiva: Seven Years on the Silk Road–part memoir, part travelogue about life in Uzbekistan. He is currently lecturing on textiles, tour-guiding around Central Asia, and studying in Oxford for Anglican ordination.
My Thoughts: This book is short, at 207 pages but shouldn’t be looked at as a short story. The characters are placed amazingly and the setting and time period worked so well, and I’m not just saying that because I’m partial to a middle eastern setting. I don’t think this novel can be described as anything less than beautiful and well done. Regardless of the genres you normally read you’ll really be interested in reading Alabaster. There’s shame, honor along with culture and relationships all nicely wrapped into one biblical based novel that doesn’t feel like fan fiction. It combines well known stories and gives them a wonderful fresh and new perspective.