There’re plenty of books out there and I definitely read a lot. From novels to short stories and history books but I have to admit there’re hardly books that touch me deeply enough to say that they’re important enough as a must-read for many people. Books are a lot about personal taste and I enjoy an easy read on a lot of days but sometimes a story makes a difference. The book ‘Ahlam’ is one of them.
Written by the French judge, Marc Trévidic (since 2000, he is an examining magistrate at the Tribunal de grande instance de Paris, specializing in fighting terrorism.), it tells the story of a famous artist who moves to the little island Kerkennah which belongs to Tunesia to get some rest from the art world.
So what makes this story different and even important to be told. It’s not just the story of Paul the artist but about a local family who has two kids. Both of them get attached to the artist and are teached by him in music and art for more than ten years. While the story is going on 9/11 happens and radical fanatics get more popular in the country. In 2011 the head of state, Ben Ali fled the country. The Arab Spring starts from Tunisia. The atmosphere in the country changes dramatically. As a reader you will follow the two children grow up and react totally different to the political situation and the change. The struggle between art and religious fanaticism begins. The boy, Issam is addressed by members of a Salafist group and the girl, Ahlam wants to fight for freedom and women’s rights and is increasingly in conflict with her brother, who does not want to accept women’s right to independent living.
The author shows us how someone’s world can be turned upside down by religious fanatics. How youngsters can be torn in a world which lacks easy answers to their questions and how a family and a whole island are affected by political changes. Amazingly the book is also about the beautiful things in life and has some very romantic and happy sections.
I got this book because it seemed to be a story about an artist and the art world but it’s much more. It’s a story important to be told these days. The author is very perceptive and found a sensitive way to tell the story. It might be fiction but it’s totally believable and realistic. I highly recommend it!
#book | Ahlam oder Der Traum von Freiheit
#author | Marc Trévidic translated by Regina Keil-Sagawe
#language | German
#publisher | Kindler
#ISBN | 978-3-463-40678-7
#pages | 288
#published | 2016
you can get your copy here.