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text 2014-07-02 03:37
This is currently $2 on Amazon
The Good Braider - Terry Farish

This was a book I read a while back that I really liked and appreciated for the read, so I thought I'd plug it.  If you're interested, link's below.  Happy reading all!

 

http://www.amazon.com/Good-Braider-Terry-Farish-ebook/dp/B007FXRYWW/ref=sr_1_32?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1404267982&sr=1-32

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review 2014-04-29 18:29
The Good Braider
The Good Braider - Terry Farish

Read my full review here.

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review 2013-04-17 00:00
The Good Braider
The Good Braider - Terry Farish 4.5 stars

The Good Braider is a well-written read centering around Viola, a Sudanese young woman in the middle of a war. Viola, her mother, brother and grandmother attempt to escape from the horrors of war in Sudan. This is very much Viola's story and you really come to hear her as a real living breathing human being. Sadly there are far too many Violas in the world, many in Africa but also in other war-torn places around the globe. After having read numerous non-fiction accounts much like Viola's, I cannot help but have my heart go out to the fictional Viola and of course the true Violas of the world. I felt as though Farish did a great job at portraying the plight of escaping war-torn Sudan, especially in the simple but effective manner in which she accomplished it. And then there is the all-too forgotten and often difficult adjustment period for those lucky enough to escape war-torn areas. This too was handled well, clearly Viola felt out of sorts and torn.

Overall The Good Braider is a moving read and I rather enjoyed it (although "enjoy" in the true sense is difficult as it is terribly saddening to think of all those in Viola's position across the globe). Books like these will hopefully put in perspective the importance of things in life. While one child in America may complain about internet or phone restrictions, there are children across the globe simply wanting to survive.
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review 2012-07-13 00:00
The Good Braider
The Good Braider - Terry Farish Terry Farish's "The Good Braider" is a beautiful, lyrical novel that tugged on my heartstrings in many moments. It's the story of a teenage African girl named Viola who survives hardships in her homeland to travel with her family to America in search of a better life, out of the heart of war. The novel is written in verse, and the flow of the language and Viola's voice feels authentic and heartfelt. I really gained a sense of who Viola was and how much she cared for her family, alongside the fear she feels in her homeland. She endures some horrid tragedies, yet expounds upon them with a maturity that I couldn't help but admire. I was glad to see that, through the hardships she relives and ultimately comes to terms with, she finds happiness as she pursues an education, and finds a relationship with a boy who cares for her. The book proved a fast read for me, and I think it's one that young adults would appreciate for not only the voice of the young woman and her respective experiences, but also gain a sense of what its like moving from one country and adjusting to life and common place ideals and values in another. In the end, Viola stands as a strong character that's hard not to feel proud of in her respective accomplishments and happiness.Overall score: 4/5Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Marshall Cavendish.
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review 2012-04-30 00:00
The Good Braider - Terry Farish Viola is a teenager living in warn-torn South Sudan with her grandmother, mother and younger brother, Francis. When the danger and desperation become too much to bear, they leave their small town of Juba and escape to Cairo, where they finally gain refugee status and come to the US, and the town of Portland, Maine. However, once in the US, Viola finds it difficult to keep her identity straight. The Good Braider tells the story of Viola's transition to a new life, and the struggles and sorrows that go hand-in-hand with that change.This book was written in free verse, and I have to say that the short phrases, the emphasis on portions of the sentences, really worked well to convey Viola's voice and feelings. You get to see through her eyes as things become too much for her to bear in Sudan; you get to experience what it's like to be a refugee traveling to a camp, and then on a boat to Egypt, and a bus to Cairo. You get to see her and her mother's struggles to gain refugee status and be permitted to come to the US, and the differences in cultures and the ways they had to adapt and change. Viola was a very well-drawn character with such a unique voice and spirit; even when she's at her lowest, there was just something about her that didn't allow her to give up. She has very real flaws, mostly dealing with the fact that she had to leave her grandmother behind in Sudan, and also something traumatic that happened to her. She and her mother face so many difficulties, but both are wonderfully strong women who never give up.I do want to warn that this book contains a rape scene; it's not graphic so much in terms of the way it's written about, but the words she uses when she's flashing back and thinking about it are quite descriptive and could trigger someone who experienced something similar. While the initial scene isn't long, it's referenced several times throughout the story, so I just want to give a heads-up if that's something that you might struggle with.There were portions of this book that were so moving I was almost in tears; Viola's struggles to adjust to the US, to try to become more American, to try to get out from under the sometimes suffocating presence of the Sudanese community in Maine, were so well written that I was just completely empathetic to Viola's plight. Like most children of immigrants, she has an easier time of it than her mother, who wants to continue to raise Viola the Sudanese way, not realizing that what she could do in Sudan is not tolerated in the US in terms of punishment or even lifestyle. There was one particular section that was quite painful to read, but I don't want to expand on my thoughts in order to avoid spoilers. You'll know what I'm talking about if you read the book.Throughout it all, you get to see pieces of the Sudanese culture, particularly when it comes to the way the women braid each other's hair. Viola learned from her mother to braid, but the journey from Juba to the US leaves her with a bit of a bitterness toward it, and she refuses to braid anyone's hair, least of all her own. As the book progresses you see her continued struggle with the idea of braiding, and you see her work out where she stands and how she feels, until it comes to its natural progression. The mentions of the braiding were particularly strong; it's such a part of her, but she's so traumatized - even if she doesn't know it - that she refuses to let her gift live inside her.The Good Braider is an extremely powerful look at what it's like to journey from one life to another, and the challenges and hardships that leaving your life behind entails. There are some very disturbing parts to this book - I would rate it as upper YA - but the strength of Viola's character is so wonderful that I can't help but recommend it.The Good Braider will be released in North America on May 1st, 2012. Definitely check it out.An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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