Jameela and her family live in a poor, war-torn village in Afghanistan. Even with her cleft lip and lack of educational opportunities, Jameela feels relatively secure, sustained by her Muslim faith and the love of her mother, Mor. But when Mor dies, Jameela’s father impulsively decides to start a new life in Kabul. Jameela is appalled as he succumbs to alcohol and drugs, then suddenly remarries, a situation that soon has her a virtual slave to a demanding stepmother. After she’s discovered trying to learn to read, Jameela is abandoned in a busy market, eventually landing in an orphanage run by the same army that killed so many members of her family. Throughout it all, the memory of her mother sustains her, giving Jameela the strength to face her father and stepmother when fate brings them together again. Inspired by a true story, and set in a world far removed from that of Western readers, this powerful novel reveals that the desire for identity and self-understanding is universal.
This book was pretty interesting. I didn’t know that much about the topic, so it was interesting to read about it. On the flip side of that however, it was a nusiance to keep flipping back and forth between the glossary and the page I was on.
WANTING MOR uses a lot of different verbs, adjectives, sayings and grammar that are used in her religion and where she lives, which was cool and helped me to learn more about different words–but at the same time hindered my reading experience and messed up the pacing for me. Some things I didn’t even know were different words, such as Mor. I thought it was just Jamella’s mom’s name or something. I didn’t guess that Mor was the name for mom….
At first I thought it was just a cool title the author had come up with but I guess not.
This book was pretty interesting. Possibly the only problem I had with it was the fact that it wasn’t as raw as I wanted it to be. It didn’t hit me as hard as BOYS WITHOUT NAMES or THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK though. I think it’s because of the main character, Jameela. I just didn’t feel like I knew her. She never seemed to be especially sad or mad or happy to me. I appreciated her journey though, and I really liked how she was able to become stronger through her friends and teachers and finally face ??? ??????? in the end.
All in all, I’m glad that I was able to learn more about that time period and what life was like then. I also got to learn a lot about Jameela’s religion, even the most basic things like not being able to drink or smoke. I don’t feel like there’s anything super major that I learned in this story. It was more the little things, the lifestyle, the way everything works. It was cool to see that all in motion since I don’t typically see lifestyle, but more the bigger things. This book was great and I was glad to read it but in the end, I guess what I really wanted wasn’t exactly there. I just needed a little bit mor. 3.5 stars.
pg count for the paperback: 183
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