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Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite
The Falcon Diaries: An American in Jordan by Emily Lodge is a non-fiction memoir and travel narrative. In this book, Emily starts off with a general introduction of herself and the subject. As an American and the wife of a contractor working in the Middle East, she was able to join her husband and live in Jordan for many years, along with visiting the neighboring areas. The book then dives into her thoughts, reflections, and experiences while she lived there, the people she met, and the places she visited. In all this, Emily talks about the Israel-Palestine situation from an inside perspective and based on her experiences, not only as an American living there with powerful political contacts both in America and the Middle East, but also as a woman hearing about the lives of people there on a firsthand basis. The book is divided simply into several chapters discussing her earlier experiences of living in Jordan and also include an interview with Prince Hassan, among other things.
I enjoyed The Falcon Diaries as it speaks from a place of experience and observation. Emily clearly has a keen eye for politics and is detail-oriented and observant, and this comes across in the narrative. Although her thoughts and opinions are her own, they come across as based on research and insight, and are not simply superficial observations. I liked the photos presented in this book. I especially appreciated the commentary and information about women in the Middle East and the Arab world and how the book notes the institutionalized gross injustice to women, including routine beatings, lack of autonomy, and honor killing, among other things. Whether one completely agrees with all of Emily’s views or not, this is a great book to read for further historical understanding and data on the region.