Book Review:{The Other Side of the Sky}

[amazon_link id=”141691837X” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Other Side of the Sky: A Memoir[/amazon_link]

The Other Side of the Sky

By, Farah Amedi

Books change me.  They grow me.  They make me think.  They make me consider what is outside my knowledge and my world.  They bring new ideas.  They inspire me.  They reach inside my heart.

I try to read a bit of fiction and nonfiction, but biographies really are a favorite.  I know my life and a bit about those around me, but there are SO any people in the world with SO many experiences different than mine.

I also, in my great humility (cough cough), think I’m a pretty awesome person, and reading other biographies helps to bring me down a notch or 20.  I need that dose of humility. I think my life has been hard, but there is someone who has it harder still. I think I’ve lost a lot, but there are those who have lost more.  I think I’m struggling, but there are those who have many more uphill battles than I will ever know.  I need to read about these people.  It helps me not get so insulated and to have a more realistic view of what my life really is.  I need to see others and their experiences to categorize mine.

This book was one of those for me.  Here is a young girl, actually, she was the age of my own son, when she lost her legs in Kabul, Afghanistan to a land mine.  She was barely kept alive, rescued by humanitarian aid doctors who took her to Germany to perform operations for her. Her father and sisters are killed in an air raid, her brothers are sent to escape on their own, she flees to Pakistan with her mother and finally ends up as a refuge in America.  But it isn’t all a pretty package tied up in a bow.  Coming to America wasn’t cake.

She didn’t speak the language, she missed her family, her culture, her mother was suffering mentally,  they had some assistance, but not enough.  An American couple befriends her and teaches her about the culture, helps her and her mother get the medical care they need, helps them with transportation issues, language learning and schooling.  This couple offered them so much and poured out their lives to this girl and her mother.

This inspires me.  I can’t imagine losing my family, my language, my culture, all I’ve ever known to move to a new country to start all over with out the things I love most.  It also inspires me to befriend those who are newcomers to this land.  Walk with them, learn from them, befriend them, help them with language and culture, and learn from them about their language and culture.  I know by doing this I will help them in amazing ways, but I’ll also learn much and receive so much from them as well.

I really did like this book.  It’s not a super happy book, it is a book of a real life and real, really hard struggles.  Life isn’t an easy place.  My life has seemed hard over the last year, and I didn’t want to read a book about a family in a perfect suburban home with a white picket fence.  This book is what I needed.  A girl who has had real sorrow and loss in her life and yet she has overcome.  She has risen to the challenge and has succeeded.  It offers me hope that I too will succeed.  I will rise to the top of all that swirls around me.  Things will get clearer and the fog will lift.  Clarity will improve but it will never be what it was.  It will be good, but not the same.  I’m hopeful.

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