BOOK: American Taliban
AUTHOR: Pearl Abraham
In my mind, it’s never a good sign when I finish a book wondering “did I miss something?” Abraham’s well meaning novel follows John Jude Parish as he slowly slips off the beaten path for American teens and delves into Islam. His decision to move from the waves of North Carolina to the trenches of Pakistan is intriguing to watch - especially as his choices take him on a path ending in drastically unforeseen consequences – but significantly under-explained. His motivation for the choices he makes is never made clear through the writing – making it hard to sympathize with him when he finds himself embroiled in crisis. The premise of “American Taliban” is ripe with potential; but unfortunately Abraham’s writing never quite lives up to it. Adding insult to injury, the ending is so abruptly thrown together that I found it impossible to walk away with anything other than annoyance and confusion. I would be hard pressed to recommend “American Taliban” to anyone. My advice – skip it entirely.