I recently read two books that I own in paperback. Five Feet Apart is one that I’ve had for a while but haven’t gotten a chance to read and Aman, which I’ve owned for at least 15 years and have been meaning to review. Because both of these are short reviews, I’ve decided to combine them into one post.
Five Feet Apart, Rachael Lippincott
Many years back, in the ’80s in fact, my grandmother gave me “Alex: The Life of a Child” by Frank Deford, which first introduced me to Cystic Fibrosis and how utterly heartbreaking this disease could be. I’ve read it multiple times in my life and it never fails to break my heart. This one didn’t make me break down in tears and I’m glad for that. Through Stella, the book shows the way sufferers bond because of their long term stays in the hospital, the obstacles that come with living with CF, and the sheer amount of loneliness it can create. Overall, a very touching read
Available on Amazon for $1.99
Aman: The Story of a Somali Girl, Virginia Lee Barnes
I last read Aman at least 10 years ago and decided it was worth a revisit because I never reviewed it. It tells the story of a young and poor Somali girl who just wants to be able to live her life and take care of her family. These are her words, as written by the author. She tells of common practices in their area, such as divorce and female circumcision. Women often marry for money because they had little options as far as work.
I think a lot of reviewers judge Aman because of her choices, forgetting how young she was, that she was thrown into marriage before she had a chance to mature. Also, I feel some of these reviews come from a place of entitlement because it’s easy to judge someone else’s choices in the way they need to make money because they’ve always had it. There are many details in this book, from their way of life to the differences between men and women, to the building of their houses, and so much more. It’s an educational read that is a blend of heartwarming and heartbreaking.
Available on Amazon for $5.99.