Grandfather's Tale by Ulfat Idilbi

Grandfather's Tale

Ulfat Idilbi

My first reaction was to describe this as a light and undemanding novel. However, in retrospect, it is a more thought-provoking story of family life and culture in 19th century Syria. It's full of yearning and gives a great insight into the importance of Islam in family life.

Grandfather used to start his story from the point which had affected him most. He loved to talk about his life and was a natural raconteur. Sometimes he would embroider his tale with detail. At other times he would be quite terse, as if to wind up one particular instalment. This would make us eager for the next episode.

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