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Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite
Until the day the stranger came to Bahr’ein, Noor had never questioned her position in life. She was a dutiful daughter, a positive role model to her younger siblings, and in line to follow in her mother’s footsteps as is expected in her culture. Once she sets eyes on the fair Canadian, her priorities change. It is with a heavy heart that she recognizes his commitment to including her in his Western culture. It isn’t possible. The shame her betrayal would mean to her country and family would never allow her to follow her heart. Even if it was possible to escape with him, the fear of the unknown made this a dangerous plan. Yet, the stranger continues to haunt her days in his presence until he is forced to leave.
Desert Flower by Zohra Saeed is a beautifully written story of fairy tale romance and true love. Zohra Saeed brings to light the cruel realities that plague women of third world cultures and injustices, as the modern western world see them. Told in a succinct, perfectly written manner, this short tale holds a universally mastered theme unlike any ever read by this reviewer. With the underlying metaphor of a fragile desert bloom to love’s imperfections, this eye-opening narrative is certain to grab the heart of the reader. Human values of family trust and parental devotion are tested in what I hope is only the beginning of more of Saeed’s writings. This is about as perfect as it can get.