Ramadan Sky Synopsis:
A contemporary twist on a classic story of forbidden love, set in Jakarta, capital city of Indonesia.
When Vic accepts a teaching position in Jakarta, she has already been working and travelling in Asia for many years; she thinks she knows what to expect. However, before long she becomes troubled by the casual coexistence of vast wealth and woeful poverty, and by the stark differences in freedom and power between the men and the women. It also becomes apparent that there will be no support or companionship from her fellow Westerners and colleagues.
Fajar has lived in Jakarta all his life. He gets by, loaning money from friends and family, spending his nights racing, and his days working on the roads as an ojek driver. When he impresses a customer with his understanding of English, he sees an opportunity. He dedicates himself to being the woman’s driver – taking her to and from work, running her errands. He thinks he’s won big.
Neither Fajar nor Vic expect to find friendship and solace in their strange arrangement. But, before long, they will step outside the mores of their cultures together, crossing a boundary that will shake both of their lives. (Amazon)
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BOOK REVIEW by Tony Ziemek
As I write, Australia’s freshly minted Prime Minister, Tony Abbott is making his first international trip as elected leader and his destination is Indonesia. It’s all about trade, geographic proximity and some spurious crisis about Australia’s international obligations to take asylum seekers that use Indonesia as a staging post.
Geographically, it’s a short but dangerous trip in a leaky fishing boat or an easy flight in the opposite direction, especially from Perth to Denpasar. You don’t even have to leave those two airports to understand the cultural differences between the two countries. The former is all understaffed, automated Western dullness. The latter teems with underpaid people performing mostly pointless tasks but with charm and fast track processing for tired parents of small children.
Ramadan Sky by Nichola Hunter is a pretty much faultless novella about two characters from these very different cultures.
The narrative is told from the characters different perspectives, which sharpens their differences, whilst the love story builds in splendid contradiction. The prose style shifts with the characters but without creating a jarring narrative. Not an easy achievement, I think.
The sense of place is accurately and economically created and the characters are convincingly portrayed. It is a short and interesting read and one best discovered by you, before I give too much away!
BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 4 / 5
~ Tony Ziemek is the lead editor of Ed Fresh Editorial Services.
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Genre: Romance, Drama
* Receiving this title free from authonomy did not impact the expression of honest opinions in the review above.
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