Wise, touching and wonderfully vivid… Findakly’s memoir covers an extended period in Iraq’s recent history; by the time it ends it is 2016, and the cousins she left behind when her family moved to France in the 70s have finally followed her out, worn down by years of war. Yet the half century ticks by with amazing ease, its author managing to tell both the story of a (complicated, fearful) nation, and that of one family of exiles coping with a new life in Paris.

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