Louise Callaghan, the author, spent a huge chunk of time researching and writing this true account of the Mosul zoo. This reader, for one, is very grateful. The backdrop is Iraq during the reign of Isis. I have a much better understanding of what this occupation was like after reading this book. The hunger, the attacks, the inhumanity all became real. Abu Laith, the father of the lions, was one of the most unique characters I’ve met in literature. His dedication to the zoo animals was pretty darn amazing.
It has lots of detail but I never found it monotonous. Some of the scenes are brutal but realistic. I kept getting drawn back into the story.