Shadow on the Wall
by Pavarti K. Tyler
Disclaimer: I wrote the book club discussion guide for this novel, so I am not writing a quantitative review with stars.
About this novel
Elih is a city where rules change when one steps indoors and the personalities people show in public are not always the ones they show in private. What people do and what people say are often incongruent. It is a city without hope, run by fear, extortion, and philanderers parading as pious men; a city where women are second class citizens, but run by a woman who hides behind a male name and computers while she siphons funds. It is a world where those charged with upholding the law are often the ones to break it.
Recai Osman wakes up in the desert with little recollection of the night before and no idea which direction will lead him home. After a sand dune collapses and nearly consumes him, Hasad Sofaer, saves him, endangering himself and his daughter Rebekah when he takes him into his home. Even though religious persecution rarely reaches the insular community of Çayüstü, a Jew helping a Muslim does not go over well with the RTK morality police. Recai spends three years in the desert trying to run away from the events that follow, but recurring dreams of Rebekah leave him unable to sleep.
Recai returns to Elih where, for a moment, he considers turning his back on the past and starting a new life. But when he stumbles upon the man who violated Rebekah about to do the same to another woman, a need for revenge overpowers him. Feeling the need to do something he takes a more active role in his father’s business empire and realizes someone has been stealing from him in his absence. 4 billion dollars are unaccounted for.
Shadow on the Wall is thought provoking with tense, fast paced action. The characters are well thought out with complicated backgrounds. Heroism doesn’t come naturally for Recai and it is not easy for him. He is truly the type of hero to admire, one who does not take the easy path.
Very well written, it is not a book you can read through in an afternoon. It is HEAVY with graphic adult content. Well researched, religion and Middle Eastern culture are strong themes in the novel. Pavarti has written a book excellent for discussion and book clubs; she does not hold back and she does not sweep anything under the rug because it’s uncomfortable.
Shadow on the Wall debuts later this year, but you can add it on GoodReads now.