By Heather Paulson, for Booklist
March 1st, 2014
Given the current situation in Syria, this book could not be more relevant, even though it is set in the 1970s. Taking place mostly in Aleppo, In Praise of Hatred is the story of a young Muslim girl raised in the confines of a walled house by her three aunts, secluded from the dangers and temptations of the outside world. Within those walls, she learns of the misdeeds and transgressions of her own family as her aunts gossip and share tales that span the Middle East, including Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and beyond. Outside the walls, a radical change is coming about that can’t be guarded against, and the girl must choose whether to remain in the protection of her secluded life or to join the fight for her religion, nation, and beliefs. Add this one to the growing list of thought-provoking novels about Muslim women caught in the crossfire of politics and personal life.