I received this through Tyndale's book review program, and was really looking forward to it -- I've always had a general interest in the Middle East, and since 9/11 have had an interest in keeping up with things pertaining to our troops and their endeavors. When I saw Freedom's Stand listed, and read the first chapter, I knew this was a title I wanted to review. What I wasn't counting on was how difficult it'd be to do the actual reading.
My difficulty stems from two things: the very real subject matter covered, as well as the way the book is written. I really should have expected the subject to be harder to read than initially thought; hindsight is twenty-twenty once more. That said, it really is a very compelling read - there is a very real sense to it. I felt like I could be reading truth instead of fiction. There's conflict and resolution, there's inner struggles and real world situations and scenarios. This stuff could actually be happening, right now. I have friends who've been in Afghanistan, so I made a personal connection to aspects of this story. In theory, I think the fact that it was hard to read in terms of subject matter means that Windle did a good job creating her story - it has a feel of truth to it, which is not always easy to come by.
The writing itself - the point of view changes a lot, and there's not always a clear transition. A few times I had to stop and back up a little bit to figure out who was now talking, what part of the story I was now reading. Personally, this bugs me. Also, there were a ton of references to 'history' among the characters that felt very significant but were utterly mystifying. Then I visited Amazon and realized: Freedom's Stand is the 'sequel' to Veiled Freedom. Oops. I have a feeling that would make the whole reading experience much less confusing. Note to future self and other readers: Make sure you're reading not reading a sequel first!
Book provided by publisher for review.