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A cross cultural marriage is not always an easy challenge When it breaks down it becomes a nightmare, especially when young children are involved Good people become irrational, selfish, vindictive It s a very difficult subject to write fairly about too The writer and the reader often have strong preconceived ideas and views which lead them to favour one of the warring parents The author makes a good stab at it here, using the British mother as her sole narrator but at the same time making h A cross cultural marriage is not always an easy challenge When it breaks down it becomes a nightmare, especially when young children are involved Good people become irrational, selfish, vindictive It s a very difficult subject to write fairly about too The writer and the reader often have strong preconceived ideas and views which lead them to favour one of the warring parents The author makes a good stab at it here, using the British mother as her sole narrator but at the same time making her unreliable, sometimes unfair and also unpleasant It s a bitter, gut wrenching story I do wish the author had included the Pakistani father as a POV narrator too I felt one of the two sides to every story was missing here Although this book was incredibly quick and easy to read, I wouldn t say it was hugely enjoyable The narrator is unreliable, and to be perfectly honest, not particularly pleasant at times some might sympathisereadily than me, given what her character goes through.Some of the anti Islamic male views held by the narrator based on her experience I hasten to add don t make for very comfortable reading in the contemporary political climate.The plot is pacy and sharp, and the characters c Although this book was incredibly quick and easy to read, I wouldn t say it was hugely enjoyable The narrator is unreliable, and to be perfectly honest, not particularly pleasant at times some might sympathisereadily than me, given what her character goes through.Some of the anti Islamic male views held by the narrator based on her experience I hasten to add don t make for very comfortable reading in the contemporary political climate.The plot is pacy and sharp, and the characters convincing The ending, however, is almost too ambiguous given the narrator s bitterness and depth of feeling throughout the rest of the novel Poignant It is commonly believed that there is no right or wrong way to read a book Art is subjective we all take different things from it, and that is how we form discussion I completely agree but with a book like this I think it s helpful once you ve read a couple of chapters to try and think about what you re aiming to take away from the reading experience and here s why Stolen introduces us to Marianne a young woman of the sixties era who loves rock and roll, promiscuous sex and rebelling aga It is commonly believed that there is no right or wrong way to read a book Art is subjective we all take different things from it, and that is how we form discussion I completely agree but with a book like this I think it s helpful once you ve read a couple of chapters to try and think about what you re aiming to take away from the reading experience and here s why Stolen introduces us to Marianne a young woman of the sixties era who loves rock and roll, promiscuous sex and rebelling against her parents and peers just for the hell of it When the novel opens in 1968, Marianne meets Salim, a young Muslim student and they instantly form an attraction to one another Marianne even admits to the reader that part of the attraction was the reaction of those around her to the fact that she is dating a middle eastern man As the relationship develops they marry, have two children together, but then the relationship sours Marianne feels stifled by the boredom of routine and lack of attention from her husband and ends up engaging in an affair with another man In shock, Salim surmises that Marianne is an unfit mother who is morally incapable of raising their children and he kidnaps the children taking them home to Pakistan What ensues is Marianne s battle to get her children back under very harsh and very painful circumstances While Marianne s journey is full of pain and grief, what is equally as shocking is her often racist view of her ex husband and even her children, even remarking at one point that she was shocked at how much hairier her daughter is in comparison to other girls.I can see why this novel often angers people, but after a while I realised that for the sake of authenticity Moggach has to try to mirror the thoughts and opinions of white people in Britain in the sixties, seventies and eighties accurately regarding race Pat Barker has remarked when discussing writing historical fiction that as a genre it helps to open doors of discussion over topics which may be in the modern day considered to be taboo While Stolen cannot really be considered historical fiction, I found that viewing it as such helped to cushion some of theawkward passages Marianne is often infuriatingly unreliable as the sole narrator of the novel and I have felt that maybe it might have worked better as a multiple voice narrative, with parts of the story being told from Salim s point of view as well as Marianne s in order to counterbalance some of the awkwardness of Marianne s thoughts, feelings and experiences However, I also understand how this would have dejected away from the intensity of Marianne s experiences In terms of style, this is a very easy novel to read and there is good stuff to be had here This is also a very claustrophobic, intense book in some areas highlighting the grief felt by many parents who have suffered the misfortune of having their children taken from them The three star rating I ve given comes down to the writing style although what s with all the semi colons please , Moggach s bravery at tackling such a difficult subject area often very effectively and for the overall reading experience I felt that I couldn t rate this book higher because of the ending I like ambiguity, I just didn t buy what I read Part 2 does not match the standard of part 1 in my opinion I also feel that Moggach seemed a little unsure of what she wanted this story to really be, and this is why readers often have trouble engaging I d definitely readfrom this writer Tulip Fever is certainly worth a look [ READ EBOOK ] ☬ Stolen ⚈ From the bestselling author of Best Exotic Marigold HotelAlways a rebel, Marianne was the first girl in her class to bleach her hair and learn how to smoke A few boyfriends and one abortion later she falls in love with Salim, the proud and elegant Pakistani with eyes like treacle East meets West in a passionate mixed marriageHowever, Marianne knows little of the Islamic view of motherhood When his wife proves unfaithful, Salim reasons that she is morally incapable of bringing up her children and kidnaps them while she is at work It was one of those books that kept telling you what was going to happen on ever other page Once we got past the big incident and we didn t know what was going to happen it got a lotinteresting It had the bones of a brilliant and moving story Unfortunately the characters were not particularly likeable and they never seemed to get fleshed out properly I kept waiting to get to know them and feel with them but I felt that I was imposing my emotions onto the book rather than it being c It was one of those books that kept telling you what was going to happen on ever other page Once we got past the big incident and we didn t know what was going to happen it got a lotinteresting It had the bones of a brilliant and moving story Unfortunately the characters were not particularly likeable and they never seemed to get fleshed out properly I kept waiting to get to know them and feel with them but I felt that I was imposing my emotions onto the book rather than it being channelled the other way Disappointing The topic of this book is interesting and by reading it you open yourself up to a new way of looking at things.I sometimes found myself angry at the main character for doing things wrong and I don t think I connected with her too well.I m still very confused about the end though, and you might have guessed what I did , well no, I still have no idea.This was a nice little read to pass the time, but nothing life changing. Well done and totally convincing. Something about this book rubbed me the wrong way.