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Daughters of Smoke and Fire


A blisteringly powerful tale of standing up to oppression and terror ... [a] ...
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Overall, what do you think of Smoke & Fire (no spoilers in this thread, please)

Created: 08/12/21

Replies: 25

Posted Aug. 12, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3216

Overall, what do you think of Smoke & Fire (no spoilers in this thread, please)

Overall, what do you think of Smoke & Fire (no spoilers in this thread, please)


Posted Aug. 12, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 311

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

I loved this book. There were times when it was so difficult to read that I wanted just to put it aside. Humans can be so cruel. But, again, I think it’s an important book to read and understand the Kurdish nation and I thought it was very well written


Posted Aug. 12, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
josephinej

Join Date: 05/11/15

Posts: 85

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

While in some ways I thought it was overwritten (too many adjectives at times) overall it was extremely good, even if hard to read sometimes. It's an important subject, and Homa handled it very well.


Posted Aug. 12, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 475

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

It provides a look at a culture and situation we know little about. It encourages empathy for their plight. A good read.


Posted Aug. 12, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RRO

Join Date: 07/18/11

Posts: 43

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

Excellent read. I had trouble getting started with it, but once I got into it I was pulled into Leila's world. There was a lot of very disturbing information, although I was aware of some of these things from other books. The book really gave an insight into Kurdish culture.


Posted Aug. 12, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
karenking

Join Date: 04/15/19

Posts: 19

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

I had high hopes for this book. I read allot of good reviews prior to reading it. While I learned allot about the Kurdish people and their plight I lost steam half way through the book with the storyline. With that said I was very interested in learning about the culture. I tend to gravitate to books that take place in Iran,India,Turkey,Nigeria and Ethiopia I’m fascinated with their different customs.


Posted Aug. 12, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
arlenei

Join Date: 08/12/21

Posts: 46

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

OMGosh, parts of this book were so difficult to read. Having said that, I found it a very descriptive and well written book. The characters were well written with lots of depth and emotions. This book will be on all bookclub lists! Exceptional book!!


Posted Aug. 12, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ssh

Join Date: 02/04/14

Posts: 79

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

This book was not for me, at least not right now. I finished it but just found it very depressing & also had difficulty following the style of writing. I do understand the importance of telling the story though.


Posted Aug. 12, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckys

Join Date: 08/12/16

Posts: 181

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

I thought it was a very well written book... so difficult to read, in parts, although I know it was not an exaggeration of the tortures that occur and the way that women are viewed. I did find it slow in the beginning, but once I got into the storyline, found it hard to put down.


Posted Aug. 14, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
glennw

Join Date: 12/03/20

Posts: 4

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

It was a heart wrenching story, but I didn’t think well told. It seemed disjointed to me and quite a bit had no context. It would have made it much more interesting to have background on what was happening and why. I have read quite a bit about the Kurds and their plight and I do think something should be done. I cannot imagine reading this book and knowing nothing about the Kurds anywhere would be easy.
The first half seemed quite drawn out and the last half rushed. I do enjoy reading books about other locals, but I struggled with this one. I wanted more information than I was getting.
In comparison to The Mountains Sing about Vietnam which was beautifully written, explained and told, this book needs more work.


Posted Aug. 14, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jos

Join Date: 03/14/21

Posts: 108

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

I found this book engaging. The tempo and the the disconnections at times felt intentional and important to bring the reader closer into Leila and Chia’s plight of living in a terrorized stateless and marginalized society.


Posted Aug. 14, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Patricia Ann

Join Date: 05/24/21

Posts: 53

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

I really enjoyed this book. I like reading about how people navigate through the struggles in their lives and reading about different cultures and places. It is interesting to see how differently people react and live while enduring the same circumstances. This book sheds a light on the mistreatment of people who are dominated by those in power.


Posted Aug. 15, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
virginian

Join Date: 06/23/21

Posts: 3

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

I’m very glad I had the opportunity to read this book as I had known virtually nothing about the Kurds prior to reading this. Once again I was reminded of how horrible it is just to be born female in so many parts of the world and I have to say it makes me angry. Those of us that live in democracies should never take our freedom‘s for granted. I think this book could’ve used some additional editing as there were several phrases or lines that didn’t fit smoothly. The fact that so many young Kurdish women set themselves on fire is just more tragic than one can imagine.
I’ve told my book club friends that I need to take a break from any books about genocide slavery the holocaust or anything to do with man’s inhumanity to man (and often especially to women). I actually learned a new word from this book and that is ethnocide. Why is there so much hatred in so many places and so often espoused under their alleged God? Overall a very interesting read. Thank you.


Posted Aug. 15, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 462

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

I can't say that I enjoyed the book, but it is an important book to read. It was very difficult to read about man's inhumanity, unbelievable cruelty, even within the family. There were several stories to read: there was Leila's story, the story of Kurdish women, and the story of the Kurdish people and their culture.
The book started very slowly but picked up pace as the characters developed. Even though it is difficult, at times to read, it is important to learn about the many cultures that share this planet,


Posted Aug. 18, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Sooz

Join Date: 07/29/14

Posts: 62

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

I felt I learned a lot about the Kurds and their culture but it was a depressing book and I admired the way they tried to cope with such difficulties.


Posted Aug. 18, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lorrained

Join Date: 12/04/20

Posts: 89

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

This book was a page turner for me. I read it at the point where we can see so much of this going on currently as the Taliban take over Afghanistan. This is a rich novel that offers a sense of being there.


Posted Aug. 20, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gingiew

Join Date: 11/05/17

Posts: 18

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

Since I enjoy reading about other cultures,I decided to give this book a try. It was not hard to read but it took a while to really get into the storyline. Some of the violence was difficult to hear but necessary. I had to do a bit of research on the Kurdish population in history once I started reading. As we now face the Afghanistan issue,
I gained a great understanding of the lack of freedoms the people and the women must endure. They seem to live in constant fear. We have no concept of what that feels like.
I think the style of writing could have had a little bit more work in the flow of the storyline. But I certainly was involved in Leila‘s life and the culture and gained a great deal of understanding of that area of the world.


Posted Aug. 21, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Ms. Kitty

Join Date: 10/02/17

Posts: 5

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

I felt this was a very important story to tell. I’m grateful to have had the chance to learn about the plight of the Kurdish people. Injustice anywhere in the world is a human rights issue for all of us.


Posted Aug. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ColoradoGirl

Join Date: 05/16/16

Posts: 140

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

I thought it was well written and I learned more about the Kurdish people. It was difficult to read at times, but a powerful story. I did get really engrossed in the story and I wanted to know how it would turn out.


Posted Aug. 26, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Sunflowersky1982

Join Date: 10/09/19

Posts: 20

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

I learned a lot about the Kurdish culture, a culture I knew nothing about previously. This book was very difficult to read but it is important for people to have a wider view of the world.


Posted Aug. 27, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marilyn

Join Date: 01/10/18

Posts: 4

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

I think this is a brilliant book not only for its telling of a particular people and story, but also how it reveals how individuals remain human in an inhuman situation.


Posted Aug. 29, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lynneb

Join Date: 08/23/11

Posts: 106

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

As some of the other people have already discussed, the book was difficult to get into. It seemed that Leila was just a downtrodden teen coming of age with a lack of self worth and feeling rebellious about her parents and her forced way of life as a Kurd. By the middle of the book when she begins to deal with real problems such as her brother's disappearance and imprisonment and Shiler's choice to join the rebels, the story became much more interesting and informative for me. By then I was intrigued with what was happening with the characters and interested in the outcome of the events.


Posted Aug. 31, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Suze

Join Date: 08/14/19

Posts: 7

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

I found this book very interesting. The book's theme of lack of autonomy, both in Leila's struggle with her role as a woman in her society and the struggle of Kurdish nationalism in Iran, Iraq and Turkey was well done. The book also led me to do more research about Kurdish history, especially as it pertains to the last 40 years. The book seems especially timely considering current events in the Middle East, the role that the Kurds have played at the forefront if the fight against ISIS, and the events in Afghanistan. It's easy to imagine parallels between how the Kurds feel about being nation-less and how the Afghans feel about having their country turned upside down over and over again by, at varying times, the British, the Russians, Al-quaeda, America, the Taliban and ISIS.


Posted Sep. 07, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
julib

Join Date: 10/07/20

Posts: 28

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

Author Ava Homa must have felt very confident bringing the brutally tragic, yet hopeful story of the Saman family to print. The ability to dissect and explain the history of the Kurdish people through decades of violence and oppression was a tremendously complex task. Here we also get a fictional, yet realistic portrayal of physical, emotional, cultural, and spiritual abuse at the hands of people who deem themselves superior to an entire race simply because of geographic boundaries. The entire book should be flagged with trigger warnings for readers who cannot tolerate despondency, war tactics, suicidal thoughts and actions, and/or explicit descriptions of physical violence. Despite those thoughts, I enjoyed the storyline and was motivated to "fact-check" the history of the Kurdish culture for an extra learning experience.


Posted Sep. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Navy Mom

Join Date: 04/12/12

Posts: 294

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

At first I was dreading reading it... it seemed so dark and everything seems so hopeless for Leila. I just felt so disheartened that any woman had to live this way, especially without any support really from her family. I knew Kurdish lives were difficult but this did put specifics into my view of what does occur. I ended up liking the book and I felt the ending was satisfactory and realistic. That Leila has a dream and fulfilled it was redeeming.


Posted Sep. 09, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kathyo

Join Date: 04/25/21

Posts: 1

RE: Overall, what do you think of Smoke ...

I found it hard to get into but very informative. I had read The Kurdish Bike in my book club and even had the author come and speak to us. She had lived over there and it was her story so I already knew about the hardships especially the women face.
This book was more graphic and depressing but worth reading.


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