4 out of 4 stars
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A Promise to Azfal by Peter Teixeira is a fictional piece centered on the life of Jassim, an intelligent man who is trying to fulfill the promise he made to his paternal grandfather, Azfal, while on his dying bed.
The book contains twenty-seven chapters, and it begins by exploring Azfal’s family living in Baghdad. Azfal has two sons: Ibrahim and Saady. Ibrahim is married to Nadje, and they give birth to a son named Jassim. Ibrahim and Saady argue frequently because of their differences in the way Saddam oppressively rules the country, Iraq. Ibrahim eventually moves out after one of their fights.
During the extensive bombings of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Azfal tragically loses both sons. He develops a heart condition after some time, and while on his deathbed, he makes Jassim promise to convert to Catholicism to ultimately cause a jihad when he attains a prominent position. Jassim, however, has personal dreams: he dearly hopes to play soccer professionally and stay with the love of his life, Sabatina. Will Jassim carry out his grandfather's wish or chase after his own dreams?
I appreciate the use of scriptures from both the Bible and the Quran in the novel. Verses from both books are carefully inserted and weaved into the story line. Furthermore, I enjoyed the elegance in the writing and description of some of the plot points—the plot points are remarkably similar to real-life historical events. I equally enjoyed the general theme of peace throughout the book, especially of both religions. In addition, the book provides some historical details and insights related to both Christianity and Islam. However, there are several tragical elements in the book. (Personally, I prefer "happy" fictions.) For instance, I did not appreciate the idea of a young child being burdened by his dying grandfather’s wish. It seemed unfair for him to abandon his dreams of playing soccer professionally and having a family to focus on fulfilling his promise, even though he wanted to be a good grandson and uphold the family name.
Notwithstanding, I award A Promise to Azfal a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. It is professionally edited, and it does not contain any noticeable grammatical, syntactic, or punctuation error. I would recommend this book to anyone who naturally loves fictions with historical and family elements; however, anyone who does not appreciate novels with religious aspects or connotations may skip this one.
A Promise to Azfal
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