Archive | February, 2016

Moirae by Mehreen Ahmed:James Pitter’s review Feb 05,

23 Feb

mehreen10

The central theme of Moirae is hope. Set against a backdrop of poverty, laden with a sense of helplessness from living under an autocratic, tyrannical regime, Nalia struggles to come to terms with the loss of her newly-wed husband after he’s arrested for profiteering. There follows a disturbing, yet familiar and sometimes dream-like narrative on human oppression which is cleverly woven into the lives of the characters that helps bring each of their stories to life.

Although unfamiliar with the stream of consciousness style of writing, I began to find myself feeling as though I were reading the author’s unedited thoughts which gave it a strange kind of authenticity. There are some colourful and poetic descriptive passages which help provide a vivid sense of place, like ‘West Mountains stood in the backdrop, with all its alluring blue haze; the clouds floated straight into its summits. Craggy and green, the stalwart…

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Moirae by Mehreen Ahmed:James Pitter’s review Feb 05,

23 Feb

The central theme of Moirae is hope. Set against a backdrop of poverty, laden with a sense of helplessness from living under an autocratic, tyrannical regime, Nalia struggles to come to terms with the loss of her newly-wed husband after he’s arrested for profiteering. There follows a disturbing, yet familiar and sometimes dream-like narrative on human oppression which is cleverly woven into the lives of the characters that helps bring each of their stories to life.

Although unfamiliar with the stream of consciousness style of writing, I began to find myself feeling as though I were reading the author’s unedited thoughts which gave it a strange kind of authenticity. There are some colourful and poetic descriptive passages which help provide a vivid sense of place, like ‘West Mountains stood in the backdrop, with all its alluring blue haze; the clouds floated straight into its summits. Craggy and green, the stalwart peaks stood the ravages of time’.

Mehreen is clearly a deep thinker and Moirae is an ambitious book with many historical and literary references. There’s some interesting nuggets of wisdom buried in the narrative, such as ‘Life’s journey was at odds. It could pass without fully understanding exactly what we were supposed to do here; what paths to take and what the cosmic plan of our existence meant’. Moirae, however, is not an easy read in terms of the reality of the difficult themes the book contends with. But, despite this, there is an overriding sense of hope – hope for an end to the violence and killing, hope of an end to hunger, hope to be in control of one’s own destiny and the hope for love in all its forms.

For life to have any worth or meaning, there has to be hope. The following sentence towards the end of the book captures this point perfectly: ‘However aspirations, dreams were some of the most powerful components that also held life from falling apart. They propelled life towards the fulfilment of a destiny’.

5.0 out of 5 stars, It carries you like the river Murma that flows through the village of the characters’ birth and spiritual home By Charles Freedom Long on February 22, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition

23 Feb

Stream of consciousness soup laced with lucid dreaming and spiced with magical realism—served with a side of almost, but not quite conventional, narrative: this story of “children of the lesser gods,” down and out in a world that cares not what happens to them as they hope against hope to find peace and fulfilment is not for the faint of heart.
Progressively, sometimes simultaneously, the river of thoughts, feelings and conscious reactions of Mehreen Ahmed’s vividly drawn characters to the events occurring in their lives lays bare the oppressive underbelly of the societies they find themselves in. On the surface, it’s a tale of a vicious world, a tale of flight from unjust oppression in a nation state that would crush the body and soul into another that doesn’t want you. It is a novel of struggle and hope against all odds, “where killing mugging bloody Spillage were now all a part of our normal life,” depicted mostly in a continuous stream of consciousness flow uninterrupted either by conventional description, dialogue, punctuation, spelling, or grammar.
It is a challenging read, though once you become accustomed to the unique style, it carries you like the river Murma that flows through the village of the characters’ birth and spiritual home. Where Nalia, Pontu, Tahu, Pael and Mohammed each begin a journey in which their illusions and aspirations, sometimes literally their dreams, “hold life from falling apart, and propel them toward the fulfilment of a destiny.” Literary and historical references float like lotus pads among the flotsam and jetsam of the river their lives and the tale become, until each current of the river finds its source, its destiny, good or bad.
In the end, “the presence of the paradoxical absence of the ONE, and His selective random process as to who won and who didn’t was one of those many unresolved puzzles. However, His existence was as immutable as the law of gravity to the faithful.” In the end, you cannot help but be moved by this powerful, well-written, beautifully conceived tale.
Thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Mehreen Ahmed: Juxtaposed Realities: Dhaka

15 Feb

Juxtaposed Realities: Dhaka A short story by Mehreen Ahmed On a chilled grey dawn, I hear a call out. I get out of bed fumbling, and reach for my shawl.

Source: Mehreen Ahmed: Juxtaposed Realities: Dhaka

…Authoress Mehreen Ahmed… a multi-genre scribbler…

10 Feb

Seumas Gallacher

…a wee while ago, I read and reviewed SNAPSHOTS, a fascinating travelogue account from Authoress, Mehreen Ahmed… but now I discover she has more than one string to her literary bow… here’s a sample of her short story writing skill …enjoy…

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Nervous Nelly by Mehreen Ahmed

After being adopted from the orphanage, Rose was growing up in the Carpenter household. Her mother Lydia, however, noticed a few unusual dispositions about her. One of them was panic. Rose jumped nearly at everything she saw or heard, be it small or big. Once picking eggs from the barn, an egg had accidentally dropped from her hand. Paralysed with fear, she cried for days and didn’t tell anyone. Lydia found out later, when she bribed her one afternoon buying an ice-cream cone for her.

“Why are you sad?”

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t know? Tell me, talk to me.”

After a…

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Indie Book Review: Moirae by Mehreen Ahmed

9 Feb

MATT DOYLE MEDIA

Moirae was an interesting read for me, thanks in part to the stream of consciousness style in which it is written. What this means is that the book runs in a ‘free flow’ with little in the way of punctuation and a focus instead of letting the story run its course in a natural way. While it can be said that this style of writing is divisive amongst readers, one thing that you often hear is that it will put you straight into the character’s heads, perhaps even more so than conventional styles. While how much this rings true will vary from person to person, I really do recommend that you give it a try. Once you find a natural rhythm, you’ll breeze through the book with relative ease.

Now, the story itself will take you to some uncomfortable places. While set on the fictional world of ‘Lost Winds’, the…

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