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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
In equal parts humorous and poignant, The Elephant Tooth of '95: An Enchanting Story of Family, Romance and New Beginnings by Rana Baydoun is a novel that beautifully portrays the Lebanese culture through the story of a young woman working to build her career. It is the 1990s and Noor Beyrouti is a student studying Nutrition and Food Technology. After graduating, Noor finds a job as a sales representative in a well-known family company. The novel covers her daily activities at the company as a young woman who is not intimidated by sexism and her youth as she works to prove herself. A new colleague at the company becomes interested in her. The novel takes us on a wild ride as Noor balances her career, family relationships, and love life, and as she strives to achieve her dreams.
The Elephant Tooth of '95 skillfully balances the painful scenes in the story with the livelier sections of Noor’s story. I loved how the cultural setting is brought alive through the music, the taste of Lebanese cuisine, and the country’s history. The story is also a wonderful depiction of the strength of the Lebanese people who remain brave despite the hardships they have faced. I also loved that the book brilliantly captures the many emotions Noor experiences throughout different events she faces. The Elephant Tooth of '95 by Rana Baydoun is a wonderful novel whose original plot is buoyed by delightful cultural details. It is a story that inspires strength and hope even during hardship.