Monday, March 14, 2016

THE LIBYAN...A Gift from the Past

I had such a wonderful gift from the past  today, from my Singapore American School classmate Fielden Lundy. He sent me a pic from our graduation class which I had never seen before, and wrote a special review as only someone who lived a similar life in a similar time can understand and relate to. 
Thank you, Fielden, from my heart to yours 

The Libyan, by Esther Kofod, begins as a travelogue, the experiences of growing up in a foreign land, traveling for one’s education, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures. The book changes to a love story, full of emotion and feeling. Then, it is a cultural narrative, the experience of new customs and foods and surroundings, the historical and modern view of Libya itself. Slowly, the story becomes a spy thriller, full of intrigue, deception, fear and terror.

Esther does a wonderful job writing these transitions and in weaving them together. We experience the wonder of foreign lands, the overwhelming feelings of love, the history and significance of Libya, the curiosity of new places and the fear of not knowing where life is going. There is joy, there is terror, there is resignation.

The book tells a personal story but with definite worldly undertones. It is often a mirror on the events of the present. Given the political and cultural forces currently at work in the Middle East and elsewhere, Esther’s book is very timely and relevant. It shows that Libya was, and is, far different from the Libya the news shows us. The people, the love of family and country are not so different from our own.

I grew up overseas as well. Esther and I were classmates at the Singapore American School. Reading her words brought back to me many of the feelings Esther describes; curiosity about new places, people, cultures, and foods. The feeling that you are never really at home anywhere. The realization that the world is much larger and fuller and more fascinating than you had ever believed.

I highly recommend The Libyan. It will open your eyes in so many ways. It will expose you to so many different emotions.

Esther Kofod

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