Immersive | BookishFirst


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This was a reasonably well organized story about a man who did everything he could to take care of some zoo animals, particularly bears and lions, during the ISIS occupation of Mosul, Iraq. The book portrays many details of the occupation, and my heart goes out to the people who had to live with that kind of terror just a few short years ago. It’s sickening how people could twist religion into something so harmful.

But the actual zoo activities aren’t all that prevalent in the story. And i really don’t understand what happened toward the end of the book with Dr. Amir. The author seems to have focused so much on sharing each person’s understanding of what was happening that she forgot to explain to the reader why such a convoluted process was being followed. Perhaps that’s something that will be tightened up or clarified in the final copy of this book.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about what the situation is Mosul was like before, during, and after the occupation. I’ll probably forget all the stuff about the animals, but the details of the occupation will stay with me.